I can’t seem to find that one comment explaining the issue with them…

But for the sake of promoting conversation on Lemmy, what’s the issue with Epic, and why should I go for Steam or GoG?

Note: Piracy is not an answer. I understand why, and do agree to a certain extent… But sometimes, the happiness gained by playing something from a legitimate source is far greater 🥹… coming from someone who could never ever afford to purchase games, nor could my parents… Hence I’ve always played bootleg, or pirated games.

TL;DR

What’s wrong?

  • Their launcher has a terrible UI AND UX.
  • They make exclusive deals with studios to prevent other platforms from getting games. (Someone mentioned that Steam did the same thing in their infancy. Also, I have another question; why is it ok for Sony and Microsoft to make exclusive games for their consoles but not ok for these PC platforms to do so?)
  • They have been invested in by a Chinese company, Tencent. (Someone mentioned that it isn’t that big of a deal, but idk.)
  • They are actively anti-linux for some reason.
  • UprisingVoltage
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    7 months ago

    Epic cons:

    • Filled to the brim with DRM, at the point where you can’t even launch many singleplayer games offline
    • Actively against linux, for some fucking reason
    • Bad launcher (but this one is no biggie, you can and should use Heroic launcher instead of the official one)
    • Bad store in general compared to steam
    • Ties with Tencent (super anti-consumer chinese state-owned megacorp)

    Epic pros:

    • Free games
    • With coupons prices can get VERY low
    • When it opened I heard the percent they take from game devs was lower than the other stores (not sure if it’s still the case and tbh if it ever was)

    Steam pros:

    • Pushing linux gaming like their life depends on it
    • Generally correct towards the consumer
    • Huge store and many information, from the game store pages to the workshop
    • During sales prices are good

    Steam cons:

    • Drm
    • Bad official app Ux and messy ui

    Gog

    I don’t know anything besides the fact that it has drm-free games and that it’s owned by CDPR (the guys who developed the witcher series and cyberpunk)

    I personally purchase my games on steam, since I think their contribution to linux gaming is crucial for linux to go mainstream

    Choose what you will knowing this. If someone else wants to add something to this list you’re welcome to do so.

    • Alto@kbin.social
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      7 months ago

      Valve is what happens when someone who’s not just outright fucking evil invents a money printing machine

      • MudMan@kbin.social
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        Yeah, and somehow they managed to invent like 90% of all “evil” MTX and DRM in the process, take a bigger cut than competitors and actively reject having a returns policy until pushed by regulators and competitors, all the while being super not evil.

        It’s a fine line to walk, that.

        • ono@lemmy.ca
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          somehow they managed to invent like 90% of all “evil” MTX and DRM in the process

          Having worked with DRM systems since long before Valve existed, I’m reasonably certain this is just plain false.

            • Radical Dog@lemmy.world
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              The user is being hyperbolic, but is referring to their substantial role in popularising loot boxes, as well as the marketplace that has spawned a real gambling industry around it. Kids gamble on 3rd party sites for marketplace prizes and Valve does very little to interfere.

          • Chailles@lemmy.world
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            Not to mention that Steamworks DRM is practically non-existent anyways (and that it also wasn’t necessary to use, it’s rare, but some games just don’t protect their game with any DRM).

          • MudMan@kbin.social
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            Blending the storefront with a DRM solution? No, that was them.

            That’s their entire call to fame. They first turned their auto-patcher into a DRM service, then they enforced authorization of physical copies through it and eventually it became the storefront bundled with the other two pieces. If somebody did it before them I hadn’t heard of it, but I’ll happily take proof that I was wrong.

            None of the pieces were new, SecuROM and others had been around for years, a few publishers had download and patch managers and I don’t remember who did physical auth first, but somebody must have. But bundling the three? That was Steam.

          • MudMan@kbin.social
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            Hah. Fair enough.

            I mean, I’d say that’s probably true of most companies making videogames. People are really hyperbolic about this stuff.

        • Hajotay@kbin.social
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          I mean, do you have any good examples though? Because most of those things are blatantly false and/or happened 9+ years ago. If that’s that’s the worst you’ve got then Valve is must be amazing.

          • Rikudou_Sage@lemmings.world
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            They straight up don’t want people reselling games they own. They could do it easily, they just don’t want to.

            Yeah, Steam does cool things, but the moment you start thinking that very huge corporation somehow cares about you, you’re doomed. Companies don’t care about people, they care about numbers. Especially huge companies like Valve.

            • Hajotay@kbin.social
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              I don’t know if many companies allow you to resell your digital goods in the first place (other than, funny enough, Valve themselves who let your resell digital Steam assets).

              • Something Burger 🍔@jlai.lu
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                Valve’s DRM prevents the resale of physical PC games, as Steam codes are single-use. They singlehandedly killed the used PC games market.

          • MudMan@kbin.social
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            See what I mean? That’s nuts. That’s a nuts sentence right there. Imagine having a brand so sticky that people go "but did they do something really bad recently?

            For the record, Valve’s games run loot boxes today. Like, right now you can buy loot boxes from Valve. CS gambling is also still happening, although I’m not into it enough to know how much better it is these days.

            They invented the battlepass, too, that’s a Dota 2 thing. Hey, remember how people refer to buying cosmetics for games as “buying hats”? That one’s from TF2. Oh, and technically the trading cards you get for purchases are NFTs, since the term doesn’t require the tokens to be stored in a blockchain.

            And then there’s the dev side. Everybody was super pissed with them on that end while they were figuring out greenlight processes, which… I’m not sure if they did or people just kinda got used to what’s there. And if you’re around devs you’ll know that Valve’s whole deal is to tell people what to do and give them zero support to do it. And there are other horror stories about shadowbans and Apple-style manual rejections and delistings and stuff, but at that point you’re getting more into inside baseball and I wouldn’t expect it to be shaping public perception at all.

            • Hajotay@kbin.social
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              Well I’m not going to be eternally mad at Coca Cola because they put cocaine in their soda a century ago, there’s got to be a cut-off point somewhere. If I’m going to hate them it’s because of the things they are doing right now. Valve over the last eight years has been pretty well-behaved considering their market position gives them the capacity to be way worse. There’s nothing stopping them from

              • buying up exclusivity contracts

              • making a DRM that actually functions

              • developing only proprietary software

              • making their games pay-to-win

              • CyberTaco@lemmy.world
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                I will be eternally mad at Coca Cola because they took the cocaine out of their soda a century ago.

              • MudMan@kbin.social
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                Oookay, so we’re all cool with MTX cosmetics, loot boxes, battlepasses and lacking full ownership or transferability of games, then?

                I’m just trying to figure out if the things Valve is doing right now are fine for everybody or just for Valve.

                Which again, is my problem. I’ll keep saying it, because having to argue for reality makes it sound like I’m a hater. I like Steam, I think Valve games are generally great (and it’s a shame they’ve stopped making them), and I think Valve’s management is a good example of many of the pros of a private company (look at Twitter for all the cons).

                But holy crap, no, man, they are THE premier name in GaaS. Everybody is taking their cues from Valve, Epic or both in that space. Their entire platform is predicated on doing as little as possible and crowdsourcing as much as possible to keep the money machine churning. Corporations are not your friends.

            • TheGrandNagus@lemmy.world
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              There has to be a cut off somewhere. Are you still pissed off at Ford for being pro-Nazi in the 30s?

              • squid_slime@lemmy.world
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                I’m pissed with ford for single handedle fucking our infrastructure, can’t live without a car now. But anyway things that company’s do 10 years ago or 90 stick around

              • MudMan@kbin.social
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                If he were still alive and running the company I do think that subject would probably come up, yeah.

                But honestly, it’s not a cutoff problem. Steam changed how games are marketed forever. I don’t like the ways that went. I don’t like that they killed physical media. I don’t like that they killed ownership.

                Those things are still happening. It’s not over. They are still pushing that process. Today.

                And then there’s the MTX they’re still pushing today. The loot boxes they’re selling today. The race-to-the-bottom sales. The UGC nightmare landscape. It´s all in there right now.

                And again, I am cool with that being the world we live in. I’m even much more friendly to many of those concepts than the average gamer, I just don’t pretend Steam is not doing those things.

                I don’t hate Steam. But Steam’s vision for what gaming looks like is not mine. I don’t particularly like it and I absolutely need a viable alternative to exist alongisde them indefinitely.

                • wildginger@lemmy.myserv.one
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                  7 months ago

                  But what does that have to do with comparing it to epic? Epic isnt giving you a physical market, they are taking the next step towards digital ownership loss. Epic took the idea of loot boxes and gave it hyper cancer in fortnite, and uses that hyper cancer cash to fund giving you free games. The list goes on and on. Epics vision is not to undo the damage steam caused, its to worsen the damage to try and push it further.

                  If this was about the shit trends steam created, sure ok. But all of these problems with steam are things they did in the past establishing themselves, and are things epic is now actively doing to establish itself while taking each one a step further.

                  If these are problems for steam to have done, then supporting epic over steam is making the exact same mistake again, yes?

                  • MudMan@kbin.social
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                    I haven’t looked at Fortnite in ages, but I’m pretty sure there aren’t any loot boxes in it anymore. They first let you preview them before buying and now I think it’s all direct purchases for cosmetics and a battlepass. CS2 launched this year and it’s still loot boxes all the way down.

                    So… how does the statute of limitations work now? Is Fortnite now cool with you but CS2 isn’t? Or is it more that whatever Epic does is bad and whatever Valve does is good?

                    EDIT: Also, add “destroying the previous game to replace it with a fake sequel that is really just a patch” to their list of crimes against gaming. They didn’t invent that one, because I see you there in the corner, Activision, we haven’t forgotten about you, but it sure does suck.

          • MudMan@kbin.social
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            Ah, so if it’s crackable it’s fine?

            Somebody tell Denuvo, they’re off the hook.

            Seriously, why try so hard to go to bat for a brand name? I get that everybody wants to root for something these days, but I’m too old to pick sides between Sega and Nintendo and I’m mature enough to reconcile that Steam can have the best feature set in a launcher and also be a major player in the process of erasing game ownership and the promotion of GaaS.

            • Alto@kbin.social
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              Since I can almost guarantee you major publishers would not publish on steam without some sort of DRM, yeah Im fine with them having an easily crackable form of DRM. Especially since they’re not exactly jumping to prevent people from doing it.

              • MudMan@kbin.social
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                Oh, they are not. Their DRM wiki page for devs goes “this DRM is easily crackable, we really recommend you use secondary DRM on top of it, see how to do that below”. I linked to that elsewhere.

                Which is… you know, fine, but definitely one of the reasons I always check if a game is on GOG first before buying it on Steam.

            • Something Burger 🍔@jlai.lu
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              Technically, Denuvo isn’t DRM, it’s anti-tamper. It protects the actual DRM from being modified or removed. It’s closer to an anticheat, as it ensures the game wasn’t modified.

              Fun fact: my autocorrect changes anticheat to Antichrist.

            • Zorque@kbin.social
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              … right. And it’s also considered one of the premier “evil” DRMs.

              So I ask again… they invented Denuvo?

              • MudMan@kbin.social
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                Oh, is that the bar? I hadn’t received the memo. That’s cool, then, because Activision, Epic, Microsoft and Ubisoft didn’t invent Denuvo either, so we’re all good.

                All their platfomrs support it and sell games with it, though.

                For the record, Steam actively suggests using multiple online features and multiple layers of DRM to minimize piracy:
                https://partner.steamgames.com/doc/features/drm

    • ono@lemmy.ca
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      Epic cons:

      Also:

      • Epic has already been caught scanning and collecting data from files on people’s hard drives that are totally unrelated to Epic or its games.
      • Epic’s habit of interfering with game availability, through exclusivity deals.

      Ties with Tencent (super anti-consumer chinese state-owned megacorp)

      To be more clear about it, Tencent is Epic’s largest investor, so they obviously have a great deal of influence over and access to anything they want from Epic (likely including user data) and they directly benefit from Epic’s growth.

      Steam pros:

      Also:

      • Actively funding and supporting development of linux gaming technologies for more than a few years now, to the point where linux is now very much a viable gaming platform.

      Steam cons:
      Drm

      Given that DRM on Steam is entirely up to each game publisher, I don’t think it’s appropriate to list under “Steam cons”. I’m not even sure that any of my Steam games have DRM.

      If you mean that most Steam games expect to find an instance of Steam running, you should know that is not DRM, and it’s trivially replaced with the open-source Goldberg Emulator or a similar tool.

      Gog
      I don’t know anything besides the fact that it has drm-free games

      Another plus for GOG is that they let you download games with a web browser. No special app required. (I think Itch.io does this as well.)

      • Kecessa@sh.itjust.works
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        Epic was scanning your Steam friends and play history

        Valve was scanning your DNS cache

        So… Maybe we shouldn’t forget to mention the second one if we’re going to bring up the first one

        • ono@lemmy.ca
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          Valve was scanning your DNS cache

          The story I read was that they didn’t collect or report anything, but just flagged a user if the cache contained a known game hack site, and that they stopped doing that years ago.

          Not comparable to what Epic was caught doing, IMHO. Still, if there’s an article with more detail, I wouldn’t mind reading it. (Maybe it was part of their anti-cheat system of the time?)

          • Kecessa@sh.itjust.works
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            Funny how if it was any other company you would call bs and tell them to fuck off with their “trust me bro” attitude.

            To me it’s much worse what Valve did, they have no business looking at my browsing history, that’s much more private than the games I own on Steam or the three friends I’ve got on both platforms anyway.

    • Hubi@lemmy.world
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      Don’t forget that Epic buys up existing licenses to sell them as exclusives. They even pulled Rocket League from Steam after buying the studio.

      • hh93@lemm.ee
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        Let’s also not forget that game developers have no choice but to release on steam if they want to have any chance on breaking even since they have that huge of a market share and that Epic challenging that already lead to better deals for developers since Valve hat virtually free reign before

      • Rose@lemmy.world
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        Rocket League is fully playable on Steam.

        The story of most of Valve’s games is finding a mod, hiring the modder, then making the game exclusive to Steam.

        • ChicoSuave@lemmy.world
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          The difference between Steam and Epic is that Steam gets modders who mod their Source games. These mods don’t exist outside of Valve games. Valve is paying someone who loves their games and makes content for those games. They are smart in recognizing talent and bringing it to their development teams.

          Epic finds existing games with existing communities and build a wall around it so Epic becomes a gatekeeper to the fun. They stop games from working on other storefronts or pay for “exclusivity” which means stopping people from playing the game.

    • MrScottyTay@sh.itjust.works
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      A con for GOG is their site is slow as fuck. And god forbid you want to go back to a previous page, you’ll likely lose where you were looking 9 times out of ten. Especially so on mobile.

      Pros: Can be the only place you can get old games that would’ve been unavailable otherwise

      The older games are often really really cheap, especially during sales

      • cottonmon@lemmy.world
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        Another con is that GOG versions are usually not updated as much as other versions are. It’s a shame, because I’d prefer to use GOG when possible.

      • Grass@sh.itjust.works
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        Gog also seemingly no 2fa other than an faq page with instructions that cannot be followed.

          • Grass@sh.itjust.works
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            Do you remember how to configure it? Last I checked I went through every account and settings page on the store site and seemingly separate customer service log in and no clear way to set it up.

            • MrScottyTay@sh.itjust.works
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              Not a clue sorry. I’m personally not one to go out of my way to set up 2FA even though I know it’s good practice to do so (unless it’s work related, then I do)

      • Something Burger 🍔@jlai.lu
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        Steam’s, Epic’s, Ubisoft’s, Battle.net’s and whatever-EA’s-thing-is-called-now’s sites are also slow as shit. What is it with these platforms which prevent them from loading a webpage in less than 10 seconds?

        • MrScottyTay@sh.itjust.works
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          Sadly, it’s likely a lot of tracking. The kind that look where your mouse is and where you scroll and stop etc.

          • Something Burger 🍔@jlai.lu
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            What tracking does Epic need? “According to our analytics, 100% of users scroll to the free games banner on Tuesday at 5pm CEST, then leave and don’t come back for a week. What a mystery!”

            • key@lemmy.keychat.org
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              Oh thanks for the reminder, I hadn’t opened epic so I can scroll down to the free games banner in a while.

            • suction@lemmy.world
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              You’d be appalled how much people in corporations earn for making these obvious observations…

          • ono@lemmy.ca
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            In Steam’s case, the slowness looks more like a side effect of it being a Chromium Embedded Framework application (similar to Electron) with a lot of extras bolted on. It’s just not built for efficient use of resources.

    • ElPussyKangaroo@lemmy.worldOP
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      Didn’t know about heroic… Gonna check that out.

      Also, wow. You’re the dude that appears in comment sections with well-formatted paragraphs 💯.

      Appreciate your service.

      • ares35@kbin.social
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        yea, they steam has some drm-free games available… but steam is a drm platform… one that also helped normalize one-time-use codes and tying ‘purchases’ to a non-transferable online account. valve did more to shred the used pc game market than any other company.

        • JamesFire@lemmy.world
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          So if we just assume this random wiki with no sourcing is correct…

          Steam has more games than everyone else, DRM on Steam is the developer/publisher’s choice, Steam still has more DRM-free games than Epic does, and how many of the ones Epic has are exclusives that don’t count?

          • Rose@lemmy.world
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            Many of the articles do have references on the DRM status. Here’s an example indicating verification by a staff member. I personally tested a bunch of the games for DRM and noted it back when I contributed. Until recently, most of the games released on Epic were DRM-free. Even the Sony games were notably DRM-free on Epic before they were released on GOG. Nowadays, it’s more common for the new ones to use EOS and have it function as DRM.

        • JamesFire@lemmy.world
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          So if we just assume this random wiki with no sourcing is correct…

          Steam has more games than everyone else, DRM on Steam is the developer/publisher’s choice, Steam still has more DRM-free games than Origin does, and how many of the ones Origin has are exclusives that don’t count?

    • JimmyMcGill@lemmy.world
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      Steam UI is messy but they have a ton of functionality in their store/system. Epic took ages to even get a functioning cart, Steam has tons of features which are not even tied to the games in their store like remote play and Steam VR. Family sharing is also really cool for example. Also Steam basically killed piracy for a long time due to amazing Steam sales + convenience of use.

    • Radical Dog@lemmy.world
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      Your first line is straight up misinformation. Epic has remarkably few games with DRM, mostly from big publishers implementing their own. I’ve yet to find an indie that can’t be launched directly as an .exe. Same with Cyberpunk 2077, launches directly without issue.

      The only singleplayer game I can’t play offline is Hitman, just like on Steam, because their publisher sucks.

    • Kecessa@sh.itjust.works
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      Eh… A whole bunch of games on Epic are DRM free, proportionally more than there are on Steam in fact…

    • wooki@lemmynsfw.com
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      Steam cons

      • You don’t own the games, they are leased, like Sony
      • store costs to developers/publishers are insanely high for a digital distribution platform
      • early access games have very high volume of abandonware
      • mcforest@kbin.social
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        store costs to developers/publishers are insanely high for a digital distribution platform

        Isn’t the 30% cut what basically everyone takes? AFAIK GOG, Ubisoft, EA and all three console manufacturers take the same share.

        Besides Epic only itch.io with their choose your share system and Discord (do they even still sell games?) take/took less.

        • wooki@lemmynsfw.com
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          7 months ago

          Considering they have bugger all cost with distribution points being hosted for free by service providers it’s an overpriced over glorified website with online payment processing. 30% cut is massively tax for very little

      • FrederikNJS@lemm.ee
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        7 months ago

        You don’t own the games on any digital platform, neither steam, epic or gog. You’re only being sold a license to use it, and the license can be revoked whenever the company feels like it.

        Thisbis actually true for most of the physical media back in the day, the only difference is that they didn’t really have a method to revoke the license… But that nice old cardboard box you have in your attic, with the nice shiny plastic disc… You still don’t legally own the software on it.

        • wooki@lemmynsfw.com
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          6 months ago

          So what. It’s still valid Cons for the platform.

          Stop making excuses for scamming one sided purchase agreements.

          • FrederikNJS@lemm.ee
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            6 months ago

            You are absolutely correct, but it’s a con for Epic too. Your comment makes it out to look like you don’t own your games on Steam, but by omission you make it seem like you do own your games on Epic.

            I just want to make it very clear that you don’t own the games on either platform. But also want to mention that even if you buy a good old CD/DVD with the game on, then you still don’t own the game…

            It’s absolutely awful that it’s practically impossible to own a game, and it’s even more awful that the platform can take away a game you paid for, let alone that they don’t even have to refund you for it…