Suing’s Not The Answer

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Let’s face it, the Assassin’s Creed Unity launch was a hot mess. Ubisoft have managed to turn the gaming world against them by releasing games that don’t work as they should because they are striving to hit deadlines imposed upon them by the fat cats chomping on fatty’s (cigars. They aren’t cannibals, we think). That being said though there seems to be an alarming trend in video games that when a product is released that doesn’t meet the standards expected that a group of people decide to shout from the rooftops one phrase that makes my blood boil; “I’m going to sue you”.

I love video games, we all do here at Fully ‘Avin It and in no way do we think games should be released without being well, you know, playable. But the idea that any of us should sue a company for what is effectively a faulty product is an idea that is beyond absurd.

Polygon wrote a quick news piece over the weekend that shouted out to gamers that if they accept any of the free games Ubisoft have offered as their form of apology / PR recovery operation on the back of the AC:Unity shitstorm that “You’re giving up legal rights by accepting the free game”. When did this become the norm? When is it that when a defective product is sold to a customer the first thought is “how can I sue the company that offered me this?”

If I go into a clothes shop and I pick up a brand new sexy jumper to keep me warm through the cold winter months ad I find out that there is a hole in it when I get back my first thought isn’t about how much money I can get from the manufacturers, it’s more about how I can take it back to the shop and obtain a refund or an exchange. Now in AC: Unity’s case of course an exchange isn’t going to be something that should be on the table but what should be is a refund.

It’s not as simple as getting a refund through any online portal (PSN, Xbox Live, Steam etc) is a very, very tough thing to do. It should be though. There needs to be a better system in place to be able to acquire a refund if a game is fundamentally broken in the way that Assassin’s Creed: Unity has been (and to a degree still is). Of course those suit wearing big wigs drinking champagne out of the butt crack of hookers don’t want to be giving away refunds, they would rather give away another game because gamers are fickle creatures, if they are burned they more than likely won’t go back…Until the next Assassin’s Creed game comes out anyway.

It’s not just Assassin’s Creed Unity though that has people threatening to sue, there has actually been a case that is being taken forward to trial in the US over the graphical resolution of the Killzone: Shadow Fall Multiplayer. Let that sink in a moment. The guy who has brought the suit forward is claiming $5 million in compensation…$5 MILLION all because there might be a bit of flicker on the screen. Most gamers, myself included really couldn’t even tell the difference between 1080, 720 or any form of up scaling so how can someone feel like their life as been damaged in such a way BY A VIDEO GAME that they deserve $5 million in compensation?

Should video games company be held accountable for releasing unfinished games or falsely advertising certain elements of their games? Absolutely they should. Is suing a company for that the right answer? Not in a million years.

If you aren’t happy with the product you have purchased, take it back, get a refund, inform the relevant advertising standards agencies and if it has affected you that badly, don’t buy that companies products again. But don’t be that person who thinks that suing a company because you can’t shoot people in 1080p or running through the roof tops of Paris is turning out to be a bit tricky is the right thing to do. Because it isn’t.

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