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Sony To Delete Virtual Goods

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the satisfaction-is-not-guaranteed dept.

Sony 171

New submitter dommer2029 writes "A few years back, Sony bought up a small company running an online collectible card game called Star Chamber: The Harbinger Saga. Two days ago, they announced that the servers will be shutting down on March 29, 2012. All of our virtual collectible cards? Poof. It's not surprising — the user base is small and dwindling — but it's proof that any server-based digital goods you 'own' can vanish on a corporation's whim."

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171 comments

of course (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225451)

Of course the user base for star chamber is dwindling. There hasn't been an expansion since 2007. Collectible games need expansions to survive. Otherwise people get bored and move on.

Sony Online Entertainment. Where games go to die.

Re:of course (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225825)

Sony Online Entertainment. Where games go to die.

Ha. Ha. Reminds me of the old saying "Denny's, Where waitresses go to die."

Re:of course (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39226231)

Ha. Ha. Reminds me of the old saying "Denny's, Where waitresses go to die."

And diners, too... there's a saying around here: if you want to find excellent food, follow an old person to lunch. You'll either find the best food that 60 years of experience can find, or you'll arrive at Denny's.

Re:of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225911)

I wouldn't say that, they ran games and still do run games for a pretty long ass time.
I am surprised this even lasted that long.

I think one of the main problems, as with most of these, is where the hell are they?
I haven't even heard of this.
Where is this fancy portal with all these games?
You typically have to go through all sorts of crap just to find half of the online games these days.
You'd think they would have it on SOE site since they technically own it now. Nope.
Worse when people replace listings with search pages with no way to view everything. Brilliant idea.

Advertising, even on your own site, is such a simple thing that barely ANY companies even do! It is insanely stupid, it hurts my head to even think about.
No wonder so many games go unnoticed and die.
And this isn't even talking about bigger games and full-on releases.
No ads, low sales, "company shocked" (or dies in worse cases), simple.
Hell, it isn't even hard to viral your own game without being noticed. All it takes is a solid week of forum activity to get word of mouth to take over for you.
Then you "come out" and confirm it officially with a few big sites, boom, done.
Everybody smart does it, just like people bumping their own threads in non-account based forums for attention, such as imageboards.

Re:of course (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225965)

I was surprised to learn from TFA that EverQuest Online Adventures is still operating. They released that for the PS2 in 2003.

Re:of course (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226155)

Sony Online Entertainment. Where games go to die.

We're in the dark ages right now, I guess. Sadly, Sony is the best of the breed and even they suck most of times.
XBox is just abyssmal, and Wii is a totally different creature all together and not geared towards the same audience as Sony.

Re:of course (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226493)

ARE YOU INSANE? SOE was the first major MMO publisher to start charging different rates for different levels of content, and then again the first major MMO to have a real money for items auction house. The current disaster that is the MMO market was almost entirely modeled after SOE. Do you ever wonder why MMOs are almost universally $15.99/month? SOE raised their rates almost 10 years ago now, and it stuck. Prior to that they were $10/month. SOE is the root of all evil as far as MMOs go.

Re:of course (2)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226561)

Of course the user base for star chamber is dwindling. There hasn't been an expansion since 2007. Collectible games need expansions to survive. Otherwise people get bored and move on.

Sony Online Entertainment. Where games go to die.

Doesn't have to be that way, has Sony even looked for a new buyer? Perhaps one of the players might even be interested in paying for the game and taking over, any alternative has got to be better than "Sony To Delete Virtual Goods".

Obviously someone is concerned enough over this to have the story posted on /.

This story concerns me because I still regularly play Supreme Commander which was released in 2007. [wikipedia.org] Fortunately it doesn't require an internet server to play, but what if it did, and they decided to disconnect it, saying "Well, it is from 2007"?

I'll give you my Neopets... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225475)

...when you take them from my cold, dead hands!

Re:I'll give you my Neopets... (1)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226329)

...when you take them from my cold, dead hands!

technically they were never your Neopets. The Eula on typical online games state ownership of all virtual goods reside with the publishers. Thats how they can make things like gold farming illegal as technically you are selling someone elses 'property'.

SUCK FONY (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225479)

I'm all for Sony bashing, but I also hate whiney nerds. So... fuck both of you

Re:SUCK FONY (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225551)

Can't argue. Anyone who needed "proof" that virtual goods hosted on someone elses server could disappear pretty much got what they deserved, minus a punch in the face. I'll work on that though if I meet any of them.

Re:SUCK FONY (5, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225595)

...but I also hate whiney nerds.

The self-hatred is strong in this one.

Re:SUCK FONY (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225833)

Why do you assume it is a nerd?

Re:SUCK FONY (2)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226067)

Being butthurt about the virtual card collection you have amassed over a period of 10 years for a virtual card-based role playing game is a pretty friggin' good clue.

Re:SUCK FONY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39226315)

So I'm assuming you would be cool with flushing the money put into that with nothing to show for it?

Re:SUCK FONY (3, Insightful)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226649)

the money was wasted the moment it was spent... this is just driving home that point.

card collections value (2)

eudas (192703) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226717)

for the most part, this statement is true of non-virtual cards as well.

Re:card collections value (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226753)

mostly. this would be worse only if, apart from the servers folding, the cards were non-transferable between accounts, which i assume was the case.

Yes, but... (4, Funny)

Reasonable Facsimile (2478544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225497)

... you'll be able to trade in the collectibles for rootkit'd CDs.

Re:Yes, but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225539)

DEEEERP

Shut the fuck up already.

Re:Yes, but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225761)

The chock full of shills I see...

Re:Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225921)

aw, babby want his bottle?

Wow... (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225515)

At first glance I was going to say "after XCP, OtherOS, and leaving unencrypted CC info on an internet facing database, what did you expect?" but on re-reading TFS, the data being deleted wasn't collected by Sony.

Maybe I should point out that "buying" data is stupid, you should buy media? Or that trusting ANY corporation to not be evil is stupid?

Re:Wow... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225647)

Big companies are too stupid to be evil. I used to work for Sun and I work for a large-ish one right now, and I can tell you the admin and marketing staff in them are sometimes borderline retarded. Just a few weeks ago, some marketing dumbass renamed our product from what it's always been (internally and to our clients) to a name that's not only incomprehensible, but doesn't say anything about what our product does. Trust me, they're not evil, just really fucking stupid.

Re:Wow... (1)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225973)

Yeah, having worked near some marketing types and met others from other companies, I have to say they were mostly type-A personalities, and clueless as hell about anything. Obviously there must be good marketing people out there, someone creates the ads that are good enough to not get tiring quickly and generate a laugh or two, but the majority of people in marketing and sales seemed to me to be exactly the people I would not hire to do those functions.

Re:Wow... (1)

Nexzus (673421) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226323)

If you didn't say a few weeks ago, I'd guess Opentext.

"Yes, let's change the name of our flagship product that it's had for almost two decades."

What did you think was going to happen? (5, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225541)

Virtual Collectable Cards. Did someone think the servers would be online forever so they could 'keep' these bits of data?

Re:What did you think was going to happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225629)

Easily feasible if you allow every node in a serverclient relationship to be a server.

Re:What did you think was going to happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225671)

cain't they just migrate the server to da'cloud?!!!

Re:What did you think was going to happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225887)

You don't know what you're talking about. Unless the software is specifically written to let you do that in the first place, which would be insane, it most certainly not would be easily feasible.

Re:What did you think was going to happen? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226505)

Easily feasible if you allow every node in a serverclient relationship to be a server.

I really like this idea/structure - as long as users care, the data will be preserved, when nobody truly cares anymore, it will vanish.

Re:What did you think was going to happen? (3, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226061)

Seriously. A person's "ownership" is just as virtual as the goods themselves unless and until they're given something that will maintain its usefulness even in the absence of the service from which it came. Until they get that something, they're merely renting bits, not buying them.

Re:What did you think was going to happen? (2)

JustSomeProgrammer (1881750) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226195)

Completely agree. What do they expect to happen when the game is no longer profitable to run? A refund of any money they spent?

Re:What did you think was going to happen? (3, Informative)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226269)

The same thing that will happen to any "cloud" service. Think of this as an early warning about the future of the "cloud". If you are wise, keep personal copies locally, and use the cloud for extra backup or convenient access. Otherwise when someone else's server goes down for whatever reason (leap day, no profits, etc.), you are fucked.

Re:What did you think was going to happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39226381)

Perhaps a part of that profit should be turned towards long-term maintenance, or end of life planning?

Translation (3, Informative)

srussia (884021) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226221)

In the real world "virtual goods" are called "services". That's why they exist on "servers".

Re:What did you think was going to happen? (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226229)

Ranks right up there with product key codes for software that needs to authenticate to the company that made it when you start up the software.
Basically, once the company no longer wants it to exist, away it goes.

Bazinga! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225545)

"What kind of world do we live in where a man would take another manâ(TM)s battle ostrich?" Sheldon lamented. What kind of world indeed.

Brought to you by the virtual goods of the Sony BMG Rootkit!

morons will... (1)

crutchy (1949900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225593)

...still trust gigabytes of data to corporate cloud storage like iCloud and Azure, even if they know the risks
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_storage [wikipedia.org]

Re:morons will... (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225753)

That's slightly different, in that the data would still have value if you pulled it out of the cloud. The challenge with a online game (collectibles or otherwise) is that they only have a relative value within a narrow system of the cloud. Without the game they have no value other than sentimental, which is of course important to some degree, but because you can duplicate the cards infinitely outside of the system they have no meaningful value otherwise.

All Sony need to do (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225599)

All Sony need to do to make this right is to move the data to virtual servers (as in: "you can't see them... they're virtual!")

The Cloud (5, Insightful)

blueforce (192332) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225637)

Precisely why I don't trust Amazon's (or Apple's, or anyone else's) cloud to store books, music, movies, or other media that I purchase.

Re:The Cloud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225675)

AMEN!
And a buttload of cactus needles to the joe who was ranting about "whiny people", too!!

Re:The Cloud (2)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225711)

Worse than that, it's why I don't trust anyone to host anything for me that I don't also have a copy of and a way to use that copy.

My wife wanted to get a subscription service for a Netflix-type movie service, given how much space 1600 titles take up with their packaging on our shelves. Thing is, they certainly don't have everything we have, and worse, if they choose to drop some titles or if their license ends, the titles are no longer available.

I think that relying on others like that is not a good idea.

Re:The Cloud (3, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225821)

if they choose to drop some titles or if their license ends, the titles are no longer available.

So? How many titles do you watch more than once? How much did all those titles cost you? Is having to, gasp, find another source for an occasional title that is dropped seriously going to cost you more than buying all those titles to begin with? Do you really need to have access to 1600 titles at a second's notice?

Sounds like you've got an irrational hatred of cloud services that is, ahem, clouding your rational judgement.

Re:The Cloud (3, Interesting)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226193)

The convergence of cheap hardware and cheap storage(thai floods or not, its still very cheap) means the barrier to entry for a PC jukebox is VERY low. I picked up a Lenovo dual core Athlon II desktop (with hardware virtualization, 500 GB HDD and 2 GB of ram new-in-box for $250). It now holds and serves about 350 movies in compressed HD format that i ripped from my DVD collection.

It also connects to my HDHomerun PRIME cable tuners and records, compresses and serves HD Premium cable TV (ESPN, TNT etc ), in addition to serving up windows media center to my Xbox 360. It also serves those files to my family members in remote locations. We have all the Disney movies for all the kids in the family mirrored at each location for a total cost of $400 (desktop 'server' PC + Apple TV or ) per node. Do you see now why this could be compelling to have?

Re:The Cloud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39226633)

It also connects to my HDHomerun PRIME cable tuners and records, compresses and serves HD Premium cable TV (ESPN, TNT etc ), in addition to serving up windows media center to my Xbox 360. It also serves those files to my family members in remote locations. We have all the Disney movies for all the kids in the family mirrored at each location for a total cost of $400 (desktop 'server' PC + Apple TV or ) per node. Do you see now why this could be compelling to have?

No, Jimminy Cricket, no. Why would I want my kids to vegetate in front of Disney movies over and over, and why would I want to spend $400 to make that happen? I could buy two decent kids' bikes for that money.

Re:The Cloud (2)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226217)

Sounds like you've got an irrational hatred of cloud services that is, ahem, clouding your rational judgement.

I always find it funny how certain people say it's irrational to have different preferences than them.

Re:The Cloud (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226353)

Sounds like you have an irrational thing for cloud services that is, ahem, clouding your rational judgement.

Cloud services are good tools to use in the right situation, but they are limited in certain ways. Permanence of data is one of them. The idea of "the cloud" and its claimed reliability doesn't absolve the user of good data backup and control policies. As in all things, making sensible decisions about what systems you use is key regardless how much Amazon or whoever reassures you.

That applies to business situations more, but it's something to be taken into account even in home situations.

As to the second part, I watch many things more than once. You'd hate to know how many times I've watched Ben Hur.

Re:The Cloud (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226597)

You seem confused. None of that matters to the discussion. Netflix is not a data storage service. It's not a cloud storage system for your digital good's. It's a service. As long as you pay you get access to whatever they happen to have. Nothing on Netflix is yours in any meaning of the word except maybe your ratings/comments. Nor are you forced to use only them. They're also incredibly inexpensive.

Now Amazon or Itunes are a different type of beast but we're not talking about those.

So as I already said, you do the math over what you value and then decide what you want prefer to buy (and what streaming is good enough for). Or you decide that the lack of video quality and dvd extras makes it unusable for you.

Re:The Cloud (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226637)

So as I already said, you do the math over what you value and then decide what you want prefer to buy (and what streaming is good enough for).

I don't need to do any math, because they refuse to let me view their crap on my operating system.

Re:The Cloud (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226411)

No, it sounds like he has a well reasoned suspicion of cloud services, and you have an irrational need to be a douche who not only can recognize his very valid points, but wishes to try to deny they exist.

Nice try douche.

Re:The Cloud (1)

suutar (1860506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225889)

This would be kind of cool, but for the reasons you mention I'd still need to keep all the originals, and if I'm doing that anyway, why pay money to have someone stream them to me? *shrug*

Re:The Cloud (1)

p0p0 (1841106) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226817)

I am going to have to point out that a Netflix-type service was a terrible comparison. For $7 or $8 a month, it pays for itself with literally the first movie (assuming $10 for a DVD movie) and you keep benefiting from there. If your in the US you're golden, but even still the Canada selection is awesome and it simply is worth the money if you have a high or unlimited bandwidth internet service.

Even if you don't have the best internet service, the tiny subscription price is still cheaper than the gas to pop over to the local video store, considering it is a 2 way trip to pick-up/drop-off.

From your experience, you sound like someone who does prefer to collect the physical copy given the tone of your post. So in this case I would say it would still be beneficial because you wouldn't have to crack open that video and make it into much more of a pristine collection if that title is available on Netflix or whatever.
The only downside is DVD extras aren't available I suppose.

Re:The Cloud (2)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225841)

I trust Steam with my games... at least, I trust them to keep the games around longer on average than I can be trusted to keep the discs operational. There are also an operating-system lifetime issues, too.

It helps that Steam wrecking my games like this would totally demolish their primary business model (not so much with Sony).

Re:The Cloud (3, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225903)

Different problem. Books, movies, etc. have value outside of the cloud service that's hosting them. This game has characters... I'm sorry.. cards, in it, that people have spent time/money to acquire, but they aren't anything outside of the game. I suppose you could print off a PDF of all of the cards in game, but you can't do anything with it.

You can't just have a gnome deathknight that you refuse to store on WoW because you don't trust blizzard to not shut down the servers. The gnome deathknight doesn't exist without the servers, regardless of how much you did, or didn't pay for it (directly or indirectly), if you prefer a more F2P comparison, ships in Star Trek Online, or some of the tanks in World Tanks are examples of a this. You can get a statue made of your ship, tank, or gnome deathknight, but it's not a ship, tank or DK, it's just a statue of it. Without the world that makes it exist it isn't anything. An ebook is just another variant on book, book on papyrus, book on paper, book from printing press, book in german, book in english, book in electronic format, and without amazon you'd be locked out of the only format of that book you paid for, even though one of the other book formats would still have had value to you. A Magic The gathering card stored 'in the cloud' that you could access anywhere would still have play value if you could take it out of the cloud if the service was to shut down, as you could still play the game without the cloud storage. In this case the game is shutting down, and the data it has can't be 'pulled out' separately.

Whether or not it's a good idea to pay for virtual cards vs physical ones is a whole other argument.

A more interesting question is whether or not you are more likely to lose your own data (house fire, hard drive/raid failure etc.) than amazon is. For most people on /. the answer is a definitive no, since we are savvy enough to have various layers of storage for our stuff. But that isn't true of everyone. If all your data is on one computer with one hard drive and it gets stolen/fails/etc you're SOL.

Re:The Cloud (1)

Keen Anthony (762006) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226373)

I used to playing on MUDs. I never liked them more than my paper and dice based RPGs. I don't really understand this overemphasis on virtual property. I've played WoW and Magic online. I understand that one pays real money for virtual goods, but I prefer to think of it as paying to extend a gaming experience. None of these items have value to me outside of the context of the game. So, once the game is over, that's it. In Dungeons & Dragons (before all this computer gaming), I once had a +5 Holy Avenger sword. It even had intelligence if I recall right. But the character who had it was a Fighter class. I've roleplayed Paladin class characters who would have benefitted from that sword, but my Paladin and my Fighter existed in different campaign settings. They wouldn't know each other. That's how we played it back then. We didn't bitch about it. Were I to return to D&D today, I wouldn't cry over the fact that I really do already possess this sword somewhere. Perhaps these gamers who are pissed about losing their virtual goods are hoping that someday they might be able to reuse those goods. What if the game comes back a couple of years from now? Suddenly, it's a more reasonable that old players want to have their goods. Maybe they just want a virtual trophy room-like homepage that they can load and use to view their character. In this case, screenshots don't really do, because you want that animation. I believe my Diablo II characters existed as individual files. Are there any online games that let you backup a character to file? I wonder.

Re:The Cloud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39226161)

Oh good lord man! you use 'the cloud' (How I hate that term) for convenience, not for 'storage'.

If you place things on virtual storage it is not as a secure backup strategy, its so you dont have to physically connect your devices to eachother so you can see photos of your kids/friends/significant others faceplanting while skiing/shopping/rockcliming.

If you trust someone else's servers as your backup, you are certifiably insane.

Penny Arcade sum up the lack of logic, even if the situation is different here: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2005/08/10

Just my $0.02.
err!
jak.

Don't buy Sony! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225701)

From no longer including a PS3 Linux option that was pointless and nobody was actually using, to having included anti-piracy protection on CDs 7 years ago, Sony is the worst thing ever! Boycott! LOLL!!!!1!

Nothing to see here (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225719)

I don't like Sony any more than most people here, but let's face it. Online game servers shutting down are bound to happen eventually. Accordingly, it's implied that purchases made in virtual worlds won't last beyond the life of the world itself. There's no need to spin this story into Sony taking candy from babies.

Re:Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39226627)

> ...Sony taking candy from babies.

Don't give them any more ideas!

Economic decision (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225845)

How much does it cost to keep the servers running? Surely it can't be a lot if not many people use it and they don't update often.
How many sales will Sony lose on other products now they have annoyed another few thousand users?

Re:Economic decision (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225943)

The savings in electricity, rack space rental, physical maintenance and backup processes will more than cover any losses incurred by angering players of a game that hasn't updated in five years.

Re:Economic decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39226097)

What is the cost of turning the server software over to the open source community, so that private servers can run?
What is the cost of turning control of that lesser game over to a business willing to perpetuate it for a smaller user base?
What are the multitude of options available to SONY, rather than "Fuck you, customer."?

Re:Economic decision (0)

sinnergy (4787) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226487)

These are 3 of the stupidest questions I have read in this thread so far. If you cannot and and do not understand the answer, please try again.

Email them (4, Funny)

RichMan (8097) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225853)

Sony should email people their virtual property.

---
Please find attached your items.
0x208910812
0x291919111
0x233311102

MOD PARENT UP: This was my first thought as well (1)

tlambert (566799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226019)

Since they only exist as database IDs, email the users the database IDs, and problem solved.

-- Terry

Re:Email them (1)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226379)

Actually, if the game is of no value to Sony any more, they should sell the rights to someone who wants to keep running the game servers, even if that's players who just want to keep playing. In that sense, Crytek offering Community Dedicated Servers ( http://www.crydev.net/dm_eds/download_detail.php?id=5 [crydev.net] ) makes their game worth more, since people can keep playing as long as someone wants to host the server.

Dutch Supreme Court says virtual goods [] property (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225857)

http://www.technollama.co.uk/dutch-supreme-court-declares-virtual-goods-are-property

If there are Dutch users, is this considered a "taking of property"?

Whimware (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225859)

The problem of being at the corporate whim is why I hate this sort of stuff. Apply the same thought to cloud servers and DRM that requires checkins. Corporations shut down projects and go out of business. You lose. They also simply stop supporting hardware and software. Loss of legacy stuff is a growing problem. Apple is being very bad about this.

this is only one of four (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225875)

forgive me for actually reading TFA.....

this is only one of four games being shut down by sony this month:

Cosmic Rift
Infantry
Star Chamber: The Harbinger Saga
EverQuest Online Adventures

as someone who has already been burned by online purchases going poof in the night.. i do feel for the people who have paid-into these and have built-up their accounts over the years.

these things are expected to happen with games that require publisher-run servers to function (the lack of that requirement is one reason why counter strike is still going after more than 12 years)..

but come on sony, how about a being (or at least appearing to be) the nice guys for once and give 6 months or a year's notice instead of a puny 30 days.

Own my ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39225945)

Most of these user agreements say you "RENT" the ability to make and trade items. These items/characters belong to x company.

You never truly own them.

Virtual goods ? (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39225983)

Can we really call these virtual goods ? It's just a row in the game operator's database. The user didn't buy that data, they bought a license to access what it represents: some imaginary doodad with stats that is then used to play against other similar doodads.

I suppose the 2-second fix to this would be: you want your "virtual goods" ? Here:

SELECT * FROM CARDS WHERE USER='poindexter'

And yes, fuck both parties.

ya? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39226007)

Well, Duh.

What the hell else would happen with that stuff?
Print them out and send them to you to use with, nothing?

Key word: in quotes. (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226047)

'Own'. That's an interesting choice of punctuation on TFA's part. It's like 'breathe'. Porous materials 'breathe', but that's only a semblance of breathing-- they don't respire. You might 'own' virtual goods, but that's only a semblance of actual ownership-- you've been granted a license to use those goods, not true ownership. Even TFA realizes that, else its writer wouldn't have bothered with scare quotes.

Really? (1)

Fishbulb (32296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226349)

[...] proof that any server-based digital goods you 'own' can vanish on a corporation's whim.

It amazes me that anyone has ever thought otherwise.

After 30 years of using computers and a CS degree, I can say one thing about any "pile of bits" on a computer: it doesn't really exist. Print your photos or use film. Keep your cd's and DVD's. Print out your important docs and put them in a lockbox.

I can't wait to show my grandkids the Amiga floppies all my old school work is on...(which require an Amiga floppy drive, which is physically different from a PC floppy drive)

Derp (1)

WillgasM (1646719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226423)

Well no derp. What were you expecting? We're talking about items that have no value outside of the game. If the game dies, so do the items. I completely understand what the gamers are going through; it sucks. I myself have spent way too much time/money acquiring virtual goods on various free-to-play MMOs and such. If the day comes that the game goes bust, I fully intend to lose all those items. WTF does it matter how many stacks of Hero Potions I've squirreled away if there's no game-world to consume them in? Some people have tried to draw parallels to cloud storage, but that's comparing apples to virtual apples. That media is something you consume in real life. Besides, in that case you shouldn't put all your eggs in one cloud. It's fine for backup or accessing your files remotely, but you'd be dumb to rely on it completely. If Sony is truly calling this game a bust, it would be nice of them to pass it off to the community. If someone really cares enough to invest in a server and bandwidth to keep it going, then let them. Let's not kid ourselves though, Sony's not nice.

let's admit what this really is (1)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226453)

Sony is pulling a clever scheme that will instantly make every participant's collectible cards even more rare than any other card ever was in the whole game.

Seth

Hypocrites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39226485)

I hate Sony with a searing passion for the crap they pull, especially for their own engineers sake, who must be frustrated beyond words at how Sony employs them to come up with great ideas, produces amazing technical products, then cripples them with crappy software. Must drive them nuts.

BUT, I am writing, not to vilify Sony, but the whiny bitches who are crying about how an evil corporation is depriving them of their imaginary property. Remember, we all think imaginary property is somehow different from REAL PROPERTY (by which we mean, physical, tangible property, not land...) and decry attempts by owners of "intellectual" "property" as owning imaginary property, and how copying a movie or a game or music doesn't harm the producer in the same sense the theft of a loaf of bread does, inasmuch as what belongs to the producer is not somehow reduced, changed, or in any way altered. HA. Now who's whining about their so-called "property"? Virtual trading cards?

If you have ever, and I mean EVER committed an act of digital electronic piracy, played a game, heard a song, watched a film, etc., that you didn't pay for, and now you're crying about this... you're a HYPOCRITE and I laugh in your face. Here, let me call you a waaaambulance.

And this is exactly why (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226515)

I remain baffled at how companies like Wizards of the Coast think it's acceptable to charge as much for online versions of stuff as they do for the real items (example here is MTG cards). Why the fuck would I pay the same price for something you can take away at your whim for any reason (or no reason) at all?

Really? (1)

darkonc (47285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226593)

These people trusted themselves to a star chamber [wikipedia.org]. They should have known that it was going to turn bad.

It's really true of just about anything based on the cloud system.

Laugh (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39226745)

It must be duh month on /. and frankly you're an idiot to spend money on such things.

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