Publishers are seeking to control everything these days, even us

Dr Zaius

Chief Defender of the Faith
Staff member
May 1, 2001
Reaction score
The Forbidden Zone
First name
llUnited States
I don't support Blizzard on this at all.

I don't like the idea of giving players access to map editors, scenario editors, and mod tools, but then gimping the programs so that the only way they will work is if the files are uploaded to official servers. Publishers already hold almost all the cards, but this gives them 100 percent control even over the very ideas gamer come up with! In essence, they own everything they create and everything you create as well. EULAs often try to take advantage of this by making it clear publishers can take any or all of your content, change it, and sell it at their sole discretion.

But this isn't about money. It's about taking control out of the hands of players and consolidating everything under the control of publishers. Increasingly, we're seeing publishers attempt to consolidate everything -- EVERYTHING -- under their own control so they can control the game, the press, and now even the community.

There was a time when publishers enthusiastically worked with independent game sites, liberally granting interviews, providing press kits and advance demos, and going out of their way to support the community after games were released with SDKs and editing tools. At times, developers would even respond directly to modders seeking help with user-created content. But those days are coming to a close as more and more publishers seek to clamp down and control any and everything associated with their games. Official forums used to be for tech support while the vast majority of players hung out on independent game sites so that discussions could take place in an environment free of publisher interference. But not any more. These days publishers don't offer support like they used to and often ignore all but the largest corporate game sites (where they spend millions on lucrative advertising contracts). Clearly,the goal here seems to be the ability to control the message. Sadly, as a lot of the smaller independent game sites have died off (or been killed off) and there has been a move toward consolidating everything under the banner of a few huge corporate game sites, it seems the press has simply allowed this trend to continue without comment.

I'm the first one to congratulate publishers and developers on great games and successful designs. And I also support publishers when they endeavor to provide players with better communities and more support on their sites. But I do not support them when they attempt to control the community itself, user-created content, and at times, even the press. It's subtle, but to many of us who have been covering games for a long time, the trend toward more control is obvious.

Sorry, no thanks, Blizzard.