This is not good enough! (Except that somehow it is…)

28 07 2010

by AngryPanda

So last weekend Valve’s anti-cheating software went bonkers and banned several thousand players from playing Call of Duty on their oh so holy platform STEAM. You can read the whole story at Kotaku.  Now this news caused some immediate reactions from me, including maniacal laughter at anyone using Steam (since you really don’t deserve any better if you let other decide if you can play the games you bought) and a rather sick joy at imagining the average Call of Duty player flail like a muppet.  But neither of which would be enough reason to write about. The amazingly spectacular thing is that Valve actually not only admitted their mistake but even offered more than fair compensation for it. Everyone involved got a free copy of Left for Dead on their Steam account and one more for a friend. That’s pretty kickass. I don’t think most people even realize just how special it is in a time in which most companies would blame pirates for the fact that they no longer allow their paying customers to play their games (Yes I’m looking at you Ubisoft). Not only was this a very fair gesture it is also great advertising since you need a Steam account to get the free copy. With all the free giveaway codes around lots of people who didn’t use Steam before now have a reason to get it. Well played.  Valve has already been declared to be the best thing since the invention of hookers by some but the issue is not that simple.

The fact remains that their stupid system still kept you from playing. My spare time is very limited. If I wanted to play at that weekend I’d be majorly pissed. A free copy of Left for Dead would gain me nothing. I also have more money than time to play (and that’s not because I have a lot of money). If I wanted to play Left for Dead I would own it. And if I bought it from Steam I might still not be able to play it… . The fact remains that this was a bug caused by the fact you need to verify at Steam at all. And I don’t want that. It is still on my “I will never ever by from it” list. Even their good service and this generous gesture should not be enough to make up for this. But somehow it does. I can’t exactly say how but the fact that for once a company admitted a genuine mistake impresses me a lot. In a world made up of companies that would rather blame the dodo for their obvious mistakes or make absolutely hilarious excuses (that one is for you Blizzard, you’ll get a post of your own tomorrow) it feels just incredibly good to see someone who seems actually concerned about keeping their customers happy. My head is about to explode trying to weigh these two impossibilities (DRM vs actual apology) against each other. I still wouldn’t use Steam but I feel just a little less self-righteous about it now. Kudos Valve.

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2 responses

28 07 2010
It can’t be mine? :( « This would be more awesome with lasers

[…] After just writing about Valve and Steam it occurred to me for the first time ever to check if I could get it there. And indeed I could. Of […]

13 08 2010
Is this a step forward? « This would be more awesome with lasers

[…] focus in IP-Related distribution that doesn’t exactly sound like christmas came early. I wrote about Steam before and by now it is on the “I would almost use it” list. And even that only if they’d […]

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