TWIFY: Rockstar Games – “Social Club”

Image credit: An-D-Man333 on Deviantart

I loved the first Max Payne. I absolutely loved everything about it. The story kept me interested, which is difficult for a lot of games to do. But the biggest draw was Bullet Time. Back when the original dropped, Bullet Time was new and exciting. No one had ever attempted anything like it in a video game. The pill-popping health system was “gritty” and it gave Max a very fragile human feel. The noir style worked perfectly with the story and the broken hero motif, and the way Max told you the story made it feel like you were playing a movie and not a game.

When I saw screen shots for Max Payne 3, I was stoked. I really wanted to play this game. An older, weathered, beaten by the world Max was coming back. Everything about this just screamed “YOU MUST PLAY ME” every time I saw something new. They even got James McCaffrey (the original voice actor) to return for Max.

I’ve been waiting so long for this. A friend of mine even gifted it to me through Steam. So much excitement!! I set it up to download while I slept (30 gigabytes, larger than World of Warcraft with 3 expansions) and woke up this morning ready to play. I spent most of the day with my kids (because games will be around forever… kids grow up and eventually hate you) but after dinner, it was time to finally dig into the game I’ve waited so long for. Do you want to guess what happened? Do you think I got to play my game? No. I didn’t. I was greeted by this –

No, seriously. Fuck everything about this.

What the fuck is that at the bottomt? Required!? Why is it required to activate a game that has already been paid for? What possible reason could you have for requiring some pseudo-social bullshit for this game? Amazing, it tracks inane shit from inside the game and sticks it up on a website that I’m never going to check. How fun. I don’t care about this. I could not possibly care any less about having you track these things in my game. You get money, I get a game. Why doesn’t our interaction end there?

I understand that companies want to have value-added services in their game. But the key here is to make this stuff optional. Forcing people to sign up for your shit is not going to earn you any fans. No one likes to be forced into shit like this. And the way you did it is beyond fucked up. There’s no warning on the Steam page. The Social Club is mentioned, but it doesn’t say anything about being a fucking requirement.

This is absolute horseshit. I shouldn’t have to fucking sign up for some external service that adds nothing of value to my game. All of the features are external. This is creeping up on EA-level bullshittery. You want to make it required for multiplayer? Fine. Make it a requirement for your online leader boards or whatever. But to shove this shit down my throat for a single-player game is fucked.

When companies do shit like this, it encourages piracy. It’s the only way to get around your bullshit. You’re not going to stop anyone from pirating your game. Until you can privatize talent, the people that hack and crack your software will always be smarter and better than your software. This is an unassailable fact. You’re practically begging people to pirate the game. In fact, after I told my friends about it, more than one person suggested that I pirate it (as I already own a legal license) and at least one other person has pirated it. The guy that downloaded the torrent had no intention of doing so before he found out about your pants-on-head retarded idea to force people into your social fuckery. He might not even play it.

“Well then why would he download it?”

Because fuck you. That’s why.