These days a popular thing for a younger audience to do is to knock physical games, which is ironic considering how elegant they use to be, but news in recent days reminds us that you don’t really own digital games. You just practice leasing it.
Today’s digital deliveries offer no guarantees that they’ll be around for the duration of what you’d expect. Be honest, have you ever read an App Store user agreement?
The latest example of this is the demise of TellTale Games, a gaming company that worked with major corporations like Warner Brothers, Windows, and Universal Studios to create games like Batman, Minecraft Story Mode, and Jurassic Park: The Game.
Without warning, these titles and others have been removed, or in the case of Minecraft: Story Mode, it has been announced they will be taken off the App Store (all app stores or a specific app store?) on or by June 25, 2019.
Why? Because these games and others are housed on the TellTale Servers, which will go offline soon due to the company’s closure, leaving fans of these games to wonder if they’ll ever see any of these titles again.
This, unfortunately, is not my first go-round with a digital provider taking away content. Years ago, when iTunes (soon to be defunct as well) first started, I found myself laying down hundreds of dollars for content, downloading everything, from my favorite albums to movies, only to see that library up and vanish years later. A likely victim to a latest unholy edition of the iTunes user service agreement.
So, the question is, how do users protect themselves from this sort of consumer theft? The best answer I can imagine is…support a physical product.
Yes, it can be tedious waiting a whole two days to have an item shipped to you…but for the general acceptance of today’s minimalistic mentality, it seems like something in the grand scheme of things that most users would be willing to do.
Except now, if they’re an iPhone or Apple Products user, they can’t.
The option is off the table due to the exit of iTunes, a move some tech companies have praised as a last “hoorah” for endless updates.
I don’t know about you, but I prefer an update than being handcuffed into continuously investing in temporary content that could vanish from existence at the closing of a server.
As for the future of the TellTale gaming series, only time can tell if they’ll ever see the light of day again on mobile. And even if you weren’t a fan of the games, don’t you dare tell me you weren’t a fan of Batman, MARVEL, Walking Dead, Jurassic Park, or Minecraft.
How would you feel if those intellectual properties just up and vanished from the world for good because of poor corporate management? It’s about as crazy as Mac from Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia directing a Minecraft Movie (which is now not actually happening.)
Video Games provide us with an inside look at the development of culture in a unique medium that engages both our mind while entertaining us at the same time. To allow such a thing to just vanish…is nothing short of a crime against the arts themselves. Especially when you consider the collaborative effort that made some of these titles come together! The writers, voice over artists, the designers, animators, and marketing professionals that dedicated a portion of their lives to crafting something so profound that you’d be willing to pay for it.
Now, that is not to say most of these titles won’t still be floating around. They did end up getting ports to PS4 and XBOX One just to name a few, but what if they had not gotten that security blanket and disappeared entirely from existence?
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a world without Batman.