News

Stardock announces Gamer Bill of Rights

Posted by: Chuck at 8/29/2008 4:50 PM
The folks at Stardock released their Gamer Bill of Rights which addresses everything from the purchase experience to the ownership rights and everything in between.  It's a good list of items and I'm interested to see if more PC developers jump on board this or not.  Here's the full list:

1) Gamers shall have the right to return games that don’t work with their computers for a full refund.
2) Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state.
3) Gamers shall have the right to expect meaningful updates after a game’s release.
4) Gamers shall have the right to demand that download managers and updaters not force themselves to run or be forced to load in order to play a game.
5) Gamers shall have the right to expect that the minimum requirements for a game will mean that the game will play adequately on that computer.
6) Gamers shall have the right to expect that games won’t install hidden drivers or other potentially harmful software without their consent.
7) Gamers shall have the right to re-download the latest versions of the games they own at any time.
8) Gamers shall have the right to not be treated as potential criminals by developers or publishers.
9) Gamers shall have the right to demand that a single-player game not force them to be connected to the Internet every time they wish to play.
10) Gamers shall have the right that games which are installed to the hard drive shall not require a CD/DVD to remain in the drive to play.

These are especially important as we move toward digitally distributing games but it's going to require a lot of honesty on the part of gamers and I hope that we can live up to our part of the bargain.


Plymouth, MI – August 29, 2008 – Stardock announced today the Gamer’s Bill of Rights: a statement of principles that it hopes will encourage the PC game industry to adopt standards that are more supportive of PC gamers. The document contains 10 specific “rights” that video game enthusiasts can expect from Stardock as an independent developer and publisher that it hopes that other publishers will embrace. The Bill of Rights is featured on Stardock’s website (www.stardock.com) and is on prominent display in Stardock’s booth (1142) at the Penny Arcade Expo.



“As an industry, we need to begin setting some basic, common sense standards that reward PC gamers for purchasing our games,” stated Brad Wardell, president and CEO of Stardock Corporation. “The console market effectively already has something like this in that its games have to go through the platform maker such as Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony. But on the PC, publishers can release games that are scarcely completed, poorly supported, and full of intrusive copy protection and then be stuck on it.”



Chris Taylor, CEO and founder of Gas Powered Games stated, “This is an awesome framework for the industry to aspire to, and ultimately so that we can provide our customers with the gaming experience that they have wanted for years, and really deserve.”



As an example of The Gamer’s Bill of Rights in action, Stardock instituted a policy of allowing users to return copies of The Political Machine purchased at retail to Stardock for a full refund if they found that their PC wasn’t sufficient to run the game adequately.



“The PC market loses out on a lot of sales because a significant percentage of our market has PCs that may or may not be adequate to run our games. Without the ability to return games to the publisher for a refund, many potential buyers simply pass on games they might otherwise have bought due to the risk of not being certain a game will work on their PC. The average consumer doesn’t know what ‘pixel shader 2.0 support’ means, for instance,” said Wardell.



According to Stardock, the objective of the Gamer’s Bill of Rights is to increase the confidence of consumers of the quality of PC games which in turn will lead to more sales and a better gaming experience.



The Gamer’s Bill of Rights:



1) Gamers shall have the right to return games that don’t work with their computers for a full refund.

2) Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state.

3) Gamers shall have the right to expect meaningful updates after a game’s release.

4) Gamers shall have the right to demand that download managers and updaters not force themselves to run or be forced to load in order to play a game.

5) Gamers shall have the right to expect that the minimum requirements for a game will mean that the game will play adequately on that computer.

6) Gamers shall have the right to expect that games won’t install hidden drivers or other potentially harmful software without their consent.

7) Gamers shall have the right to re-download the latest versions of the games they own at any time.

8) Gamers shall have the right to not be treated as potential criminals by developers or publishers.

9) Gamers shall have the right to demand that a single-player game not force them to be connected to the Internet every time they wish to play.

10) Gamers shall have the right that games which are installed to the hard drive shall not require a CD/DVD to remain in the drive to play.





For more information about Stardock’s games and software, please visit www.stardock.com.



About Stardock

Stardock is one of the world’s leading developers and publishers of PC games and desktop software. Its PC games include the upcoming strategy/RPG combo, Demigod as well as Sins of a Solar Empire, the highest rated and best selling PC strategy game of 2008 as well as the critically acclaimed Galactic Civilizations series. Its desktop software includes Object Desktop, WindowBlinds, and a host of other programs for customizing the Windows experience. Learn more about Stardock by visiting www.stardock.com.