Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dragon Age 2: Why You should Postpone Buying This Game

Well, I had planned to write about how great Dragon Age 2 is and how everyone should experience it, but instead, I am writing about the problem with activation of the game through EA. Like many PC gamers, I cannot activate my legitimate, paid for PC copy of Dragon Age 2 because I cannot get past the activation log in screen. I am stuck in an endless loop of "check your Internet connection or please try to log in later".

I have spent many days with EA tech support, only to be rebuffed and still have no solution. Understand that this is NOT one of the usual glitches that we gamers all too often put up with. The game simply will not start without on line activation. I cannot play through the glitches while waiting weeks or months for a patch. I cannot launch the game at all. And I am not the only one! There are many people out there with the same issue, an issue that EA has been aware of for months. Why did they release a product relying on known buggy activation? Because they could.

We as gamers gave them the power to do this by accepting buggy gaming software at release as the norm. We lowered our expectations. We brought this on ourselves. We have met the enemy and he is us.

If this were any other industry, people would be up in arms and the press would be all over it. But it is the gaming industry, one I am a part of, so the press ignores this. Why? Because they have lowered their expectations, too (although I suspect that, unlike the rest of us, they do not have to go through the activation process with their review copies). You won't see people talking about this on XPlay. You won't see PC Gamer Magazine running a piece about this. "Glitchy games happen. Live with it." Sometimes a tipping point is reached. This should be one of those times.

As I said, this is beyond the normal glitch, this makes the game completely unusable. You cannot even create a character for your game. You cannot start the game at all. If you were to buy a toaster form the store and it would not turn on, you would demand a working one. If thousands of people bought the same toaster and all of these would not turn on, there would be press coverage, perhaps a recall and people would refuse to buy that toaster until the issue was addressed. This is the same thing. The game simply will not "turn on".

So let's be clear as to what I am advocating. I am NOT calling for a boycott of EA or Bioware or Dragon Age 2. I am NOT saying to never buy Dragon Age 2 (from what I've seen of the Demo, it looks really good). What I am saying is that you should wait until you know that you can actually play the game before you spend your money. To big companies like EA, $60 is nothing. To everyday working class people or teens, $60 is a lot of money. For some folks, it can, in fact, be a whole day's pay. Why spend it on something that does not work?

I am advocating common sense from a consumer perspective. Why loan $60 to a company and wait around weeks or months for them to fix their product. That $60 is better in your pocket or spent on something else that you can use right away, like a game that actually works or pizza (pizza always works right out of the box).

So, to get off the soap box here: if you are a PC Gamer, do not buy Dragon Age 2 until the activation issue is finally resolved. That is the only way that they will pay attention and fix the problem. That is the only way that we as consumers will ever get respect.

Good Luck and good gaming
the folks at Psychsoftpc