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A New Petition Wants UK Parliament To Stop Publishers From Killing Video Games

A New Petition Wants UK Parliament To Stop Publishers From Killing Video Games

A new petition has emerged on the UK Government and Parliament website seeking to stop publishers from killing video games. The petition titled “Require videogame publishers to keep games they have sold in a working state” was created by Lewis Evans and will run until October 16, 2024.

A New Petition Wants UK Parliament To Stop Publishers From Killing Video Games

At the time of writing, the post already garnered over 8,700 signatures. Every petition that gets 10,000 signatures gets a response from the government while every petition that gets over 100,000 signatures will be considered for debate in Parliament.

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“Require publishers to leave videogames (and related game assets/features) they have sold to customers in a reasonably working state when support ends, so that no further intervention whatsoever is necessary for the game to function, as a statutory consumer right,” read the description of the petition.

The victims here are video games that rely on servers

Providing further explanation, Evans wrote, “Many video games rely on servers. When these are shut down, games can be left unplayable where no action is taken to remove this dependency.”

A New Petition Wants UK Parliament To Stop Publishers From Killing Video Games

“We believe this is effectively robbing customers, leaving them with no recourse to retain their purchases. We have concerns that existing laws and agencies do not effectively solve this problem. Thus, we believe government intervention is needed to stop this practice.”

Games mostly at risk of going extinct are those that depend on servers to play. Developers and publishers often support their games for a stipulated number of years before the servers are shut down. Video games that face the greatest risk of being shuttered are single-player titles that need server support. Live service games often have a longer life span as they get frequent content updates—although they are not immune from being killed by publishers.

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The video game industry has seen lots of games lost over time. In 2014, Ubisoft took the servers of the racing game The Crew offline which generated lots of backlashes. Electronic Arts also took down the multiplayer servers for the Battlefield: Bad Company games. Nintendo has also shut down servers and shops in the past.

Every online game faces the risk of being taken offline someday, regardless of how popular it is. On the side of players, that is usually a huge loss, especially for those who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on microtransactions in such games.

How petitions work

A New Petition Wants UK Parliament To Stop Publishers From Killing Video Games

Only British citizens and UK residents can create a petition on the UK Government and Parliament website. Once a petition is created, the creator will need at least 5 people to support the petition. Once the requirements are met, the petition will be published and open to public votes from UK residents and British citizens.

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All published petitions are reviewed by the Petitions Committee. “They select petitions of interest to find out more about the issues raised. They have the power to press for action from government or Parliament”.

Those creating a petition have to bear in mind that the Petitions Committee can invite them to talk more about the petition either in Parliament or somewhere else in the UK. The committee can also ask another parliamentary committee to look into the topic raised.

It will be interesting to see how many signatures the petition to stop publishers from killing video games will receive by the end of its lifespan. However, we believe it may even cross the 100,000 mark since the killing of games by publishers is one of the biggest problems facing video gamers.