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The Long Dark
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GeForce Now came and everyone rejoiced, then, all of a sudden, it seemed like the whole world was against it (more specifically, video game publishing and development companies). Now it seems like we have some new light on the situation and it doesn’t bode well for Indie developers. Allegedly, indie developers are not happy with GeForce Now’s cloud gaming service, or more specifically, one indie game developer at the moment…
Raphael Van Lierop is the developer behind the cult indie game The Long Dark, who has very publicly (on Twitter) announced his decision to keep the game off of Nvidia’s platform for the time being:
“Sorry to those who are disappointed you can no longer play #thelongdark on GeForce Now. Nvidia didn’t ask for our permission to put the game on the platform so we asked them to remove it. Please take your complaints to them, not us. Devs should control where their games exist.”
It has definitely sparked an interesting discussion on consumers and their ownership of their games and game streaming services in general. The core of the problem here is that GeForce Now released a service and did not communicate properly with developers and publishers about their platform and how consumers would be using it.
But the line “Devs should control where their games exist” has sparked the most controversy as, surely, as a consumer once you purchase a game it is yours to do with as you will? As with almost anything in this world, once you pay to own something, you own it. If I own a game I should be able to play it in any capacity I feel like playing it, and since you’re not having to repurchase the game a second time on Nvidia’s platform there shouldn’t be a problem, right? Well, this brings up the question of whether you actually own a game at all. For instance, on Steam you are technically owning a license to use a product, not actual ownership of the product itself.
“Today’s world is getting complex for devs, with lots of platform changes and shifts to streaming, so devs have to be able to plan a strategy for how their games will appear and where, as a means of running a business. All the platforms acknowledge this.”
“Again, we wouldn’t have any customer services issues right now re: removing the game if they hadn’t included it to begin with. This is why developer agreements are important.”
Indeed, developer agreements are important and Nvidia should have properly communicated to developers how their platform would work and their relationship with consumers from the beginning. But as cloud gaming is starting to bloom and other companies trying to follow suit, this is certainly an important topic to discuss.
“Remember: the most customer-friendly thing you can do as a dev, is run a sustainable business so that you can support your game and your customers into the future. Controlling your own content is key to that.”
How will this affect the industry? And will it affect the other cloud gaming services currently in development and soon to be released? We’ll have to just wait and see what sort of repercussions this will cause for the future as Nvidia continually struggles with the ramifications. But considering they were pretty much the first ones out there (sorry, Stadia, we’re not really counting you) we should at least appreciate that they’ve started these conversations for future platforms.
What do you think of this situation? Is the developer right in this instance? Or is it the consumer’s right to do with as they please? Let us know your thoughts!