Tuesday, 30 September 2014


What would happen if a game got pulled from Steam? What if it was a really big and popular one? Someone would have to offer refunds, wouldn't they? I mean, you can't take millions of dollars from gamers, imply to them that they will have perpetual access to the game, then destroy it. That's just going to make you a lot of enemies. However, the first titles pulled from Steam would be older ones where the costs of ongoing support outweigh the revenues earned by selling it. Computer hardware advances all the time. Eventually, old titles won't be playable on new machines.

The question is: what does ownership mean in a world of walled gardens? If Steam goes out of business, for instance, what does it mean to "own" the PC games I bought there? What about if Amazon decides this whole Kindle thing isn't worth it any more and pulls the plug? If someone else can take it away so easily, then I don't really "own" what I've "bought" there, do I?

Mokalus of Borg

PS - We really need other words for those actions.
PPS - I don't think "rent" or "license" sounds right, either.

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