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TOPIC: Digitial games (still) stink, Steam / GFWL BOTH!

Digitial games (still) stink, Steam / GFWL BOTH! 9 years 10 months ago #4839

  • Rooster
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We hit this topic ever so often, and instead of draggin up the last recent one, I'm starting a new one to openly rant about why Steam/GFWL sucks, period. Go, fetch your favorite drink/snack, and cuddle up to my story.. It begins now...

...Once apon a time, there was a generous member who gifted me Dirt 2 through steam. His action was generous and thoughtful, and Roo was thrilled beyond mention. Rooster accepted said gift, and left his machine later that night as it downloaded away..

The next morning, Roo came down to the office and was greeted by Steam telling him it was ready to finalize/setup, and to click continue. Roo was shown a cd-key, and told to copy it to clipboard for easy pasting later. He did, anxious to sink his teeth into the steering wheel already attached and awaiting some use.

Steam, true to it's word, whirred away a bit, and as the logos' and intro video began playing in the background, Steam's interface popped up and asked for that cd-key. Roo was full of delight. Roo hit CTRL+V and voila! The key was properly pasted into the individual cd key cells automagically (you know how sometimes when they break keys up into multiple boxes it doesn't paste it through all of them, just the first; don't ya hate that?!). Steam told Roo is key was valid, and to enjoy the game. He was about to.

Then, the most horrible, wicked thing happened. Games For Windows Live automagically loaded his sons's Xbox account in. See, his son has a decent PC, but his son likes to make GTA IV videos, and sadly, his son's PC is able to play the game, but NOT able to pack enough uumph to allow him to edit the video (or save it..). No big deal.. Roo owns GTA IV and plays it from time to time on his PC, just as his son does.. So Roo logs his son out of GFWL, and logs himself in.

Roo is greeted with an error in GFWL about the key being in use. Roo thinks maybe it takes a moment for the system to realize his son is logged out, and that we are trying to secretly play two of the same game at the same time; So Roo waits, and tries again. Same error. Roo then reboots, and waits awhile and once again tries. Same error, only this time now, GFWL is asking for a cdkey. No problem, I have it right here.. (saved it to notepad, and steam also displays this information somewhere). GFWL again gives Roo a nasty-gram about not being allowed to use a duplicate key.

Roo was irritated and highly frustrated at this point, and has other errands to run, he just wanted to see the slickness that was supposed to be Dirt2, but now his free time is up, for now :( Defeated, he trods away from his rig, dreading the upcoming battle.

Roo returns to the scene of the anti-crime later, and starts researching his course of attack. Does he contact Steam? GFWL? Fasa Studios? Who?? He decides since this seems to be a key issue, to contact Steam, as per their site, they are the responsible party for key issues, including invalid, erronious duplicates, etc. Roo explains the problem.

"Installed game, Steam asked for cdkey, entered it, GFWL came on automatically, somehow tied to son's account? Need to fix it, get it on mine, GFWL that is, not Steam account". Day passes, then another. Then word from Steam rep. "So you got a gift game, but installed it on your sons steam?". "No, My steam, HIS GFWL account. Needs/Should be My Steam, MY GFWL". Not to be petty but can't play it cuz if I try to sign in as him, it kicks him off the 360, or off of his PC. Never prompted me to tie it to a GFWL account. I own at least 4 other GFWL titles, ALL of which can be played by myself, the original registrator, or my son. In fact, ANY person who comes on MY PC and logs a valid GFWL login can play it, on MY PC.. This game, no, says duplicate key.. Need it removed from sons GFWL and placed on mine. We have the same everything, phone, address, GFWL/XboxGold billing/credit info. He IS my kid, so everything is the same...". Roo also reaffirmed the fact that NOTHING, absolutely nothing said anything about ANY form of registering/activating or linking said Steam CDkey to ANY GFWL account, AT ALL.

Days pass again. Another Steam Rep says, "sorry, you'll have to contact GFWL about this, it's out of our hands". (for what or why, I've no idea since they ARE the ones selling and activating it). The rep links a site which has a call-in number (no email/chat system for GFWL ironically), which Roo had a wait a few days on since he could hardly talk, and was in NO mood to even try to sceam, yell or gripe about the situation.

Today, feeling better, Roo calls GFWL. GFWL Rep almost immediately says, "I can tell ya now there's probably nothing I can do". I explain the situation to him again, hitting heavy on both facts that matter (to me): No other GFWL game has had a problem playing on the same PC under different users, and it NEVER, not ONCE asked to register/activate it within GFWL, only Steam. He says, "Yea, that's why you should not use the auto-logon feature", as if THAT is a or THE proper solution. I'd have known to beware, HAD SOMETHING TOLD ME GFWL WAS GOING TO SECRETLY ACTIVATE (AGAIN) MY CDKEY TO A SPECIFIC SINGLE PROFILE. Him and I go round and round, and I decide, which I'm really a passive fella, rarely raising a stink, I'm fed up with this, and tell him I need to speak to someone else.

He says hang on, and puts me on hold again (he did place me on hold briefly one or two times prior, to verify allegedly that nothing could be done about each circumstance. He comes back, appologizing once again, and says he will create a case for me, and pass it on to his supervisor, who will in turn review it, and if 'unable' to do anything, will pass it to the game design studio, as a complaint against product operation (or something like that, basically, letting my voice get heard by developer that this 'new' feature of theirs sucks, plain and simple, and why something needs to be done, as well as to see if they will be willing to do something to make it right or fix my problem. If not, the rep's suggestion was to re-contact Steam, and see if they will cancel that key an reissue a new one, which, from their original contact posts, seemed like something they weren't prepared to do since they told me GFWL was the group I needed to deal with.

So I wait.

And for those out of the loop, let me recap:

My Steam: Has the game registered and activated on it.
Sons Steam: Has NO trace of Dirt2, as it shouldn't..
My GFWL : Won't let me play the game my steam activated (NEVER said it was trying or DID activate the title, A SECOND TIME OUT of Steam).
Sons GFWL: Automagically stole without any issue, warning, notice or hint of danger the only allowed use of Dirt2.

Various GFWL titles are on my shelf, and never, not once has ANY title given me a problem (or rather, given HIM a problem) playing it, meaning, just like on an Xbox360 or alike, one legal copy is in use, but we are allowed to switch in and our of our profiles (stores game achievements, etc) without issue. Now, at least with Dirt2, it seems they are trying to tack on game keys, making games playable ONLY to the account it (stealthly without asking) tied it to.

Now, here's what I find to be the funny part. Parts of me conjure these couple thoughts:

- What if they start doing this on consoles, each game box, like a pc one, will contain a cdkey you must enter and 'lock' the game to your profile. Want your buddy to play with you, or play the game on your console while he's signed in as himself? Got kids, and THEY want to play the game? You better start forking up 3 sets of game purchases if all 3 of you plan on playing that game. UTTER CRAP.

- With all the speculation (NOT be my, I disbelieve this conspiracy theory) about developers trying to close out the gaming market on PC's (meaning some people think they are trying to stop pc gaming), I do find it amazing that some miind-bogglingly stupid move comes from, of all places, Microsoft Game Studios, and GFWL. I mean, of all the people in the world you'd expect to get a hard time from, or find "new coding security systems" in place from, it would NOT be these people, the ones who want you to continue buying new hardware for your PC, which will of course need a new OS for :)

- I don't honest know what irks me more. The fact that it secretly, without prompting me activated the title a second time under a GFWL account, or that both parties are in a way, twiddling their thumbs and crying about how their hands are tied, talk to the other party. I mean, Steam guy directly stated that since it's a GFWL issue, I need to talk to them. Even though he told me Steam, since that's where it was bought from, handles the cdkeys, activation etc., and this IS an activation issue... Or the GFWL guy, who says, sorry, looks like it tied to that account, sorry they did it without telling you. You can talk to Steam about revoking the cdkey.. ROFL. How bout I get BOTH you morons and smack ya upside the head, is what I was thinking..

So yea.. I will update this if/when I hear anything.. GFWL said to give it a couple days for his supervisor to follow through on the inquiry, gave me a reference case #, and said if I don't hear anything back, assume they, nor the developer can/will do nothing about it, and progress back to Steam, who probably ALSO won't do anything about it, since, after all, the game DID get activated (his words, infuriating to me!) after all..

Let this be a lesson to you. Apparently these guys can secretly do whatever they want behind closed doors without your consent, including but not limited to locking specific games to profiles, and doing so without your knowledge or consent. It would be one thing if I activated through Steam and then GFWL logged my son in and said, "Do you want to activate this product in GFWL now under this account?" or.. ANYTHING LIKE THAT. But no.... Nothing...

In closing.. Sabith, I don't think you've been on in a long time, but on the off-chance that my mention of GFWL catches your eyes and you happen to read this, man, would I appreciate anything you might be able to do about this, either for me directly, or down the road overall for the future of any/all games / game buyers. This practice cannot go on without some form or warning/alert/notification system in GFWL. And if titles are going to start being locked to profiles, it needs to be said, made clear, made sure that people know, and CANNOT just autologin ya in and 'do it for ya'.

Thanks, everyone, for your time. I hope this makes you all a little more cautious about your precious digital download / digital purchases, and will hopefully help others out down the road.
Last Edit: 9 years 10 months ago by Rooster.
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Re: Digitial games (still) stink, Steam / GFWL BOTH! 9 years 10 months ago #4840

  • Robedias27
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Oh man. that's awful. That's what you get for accepting steam gifts...hehe.

Whilst the situation is incredibly infuriating, i would imagine...Digital Distribution does have it's advantages...might I mention the "oops, my kid scratched the brand new Need for Speed DVD that I've only played 45 minutes on..." which most of the time is remedied by pirates and bootleggers offering up the notorious "NO-CD" patch...but in reality, the honest thing would be to go out and buy a new copy...if you really valued the game that much. Maybe it's not the exact same case...but there are disadvantages to retail purchases too...

Not to discredit your opinion, rooster, i'd be flipping tables over...okay...maybe not quite...but the problem, is not Digital Distribution, the problem is people pointing fingers at the other guy. It's his fault, it's his problem...I don't wanna take the risk of making a decision that would please a customer, but displease the people that sign my paycheck. This happened not too long ago between the DSL company and Linksys (Cisco) saying a problem with a 'client's wireless setup was the other party's problem. I coulda gone in circles for days had I not been somewhat aware of what was going on. This poor person i was trying to help had almost pulled her hair out trying to get her wireless network setup going in her house. She spent hours on the phone trying to get answers and all they were feeding her was that their hardware was set up the way it should be, and the other company must have something wrong with their setup. The same thing happened at work today. I'm in construction, and we were supposed to be working in a food plant. We needed to replace some trim in the factory that workers had hit with forklifts...pallette jacks, etc...well, we go up to ...let's call him tom...and tom says "John should be able to get you guys started"...my boss then replies "we've already talked to john, he said tom will be the liason between the factory workers and the construction workers". This was the first that tom had heard about this...but we were right there...face to face with tom, so he couldn't "put us on hold" and look at his magical list of people to blame. The problem, lies within people not taking responsibility for what they get paid for. In this case, tom was responsible for a service...

we just booked a hotel for the holidays around our family. thing is...we didn't need it. I had found a place to stay with family for free, and (communication fail) forgot to tell my wife. While i was gone, she booked the hotel. We can't get a refund...hotel says call priceline...(communication failure) priceline says call hotel... maybe we'll advertise on facebook for anyone that wants a hotel for 4 nights...

the funny thing is...communications are probably in the uppermost parts of the profitable market right now...texting, mobile networking, 4g phones...and for what? people still can't communicate. Fail.
Last Edit: 9 years 10 months ago by Robedias27.
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Re: Digitial games (still) stink, Steam / GFWL BOTH! 9 years 10 months ago #4842

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LoL, very well-written :)

Yeah, to be completely fair, the problem technically doesn't lie in the diret path of Steam nor GFWL. The problem lies within the system(s) they use to authenticate, and, from what I learned today, GFWL's lack of providing some form of notice/disclaimer/warning that 'hey, we're going to be jotting down the code you registered with Steam with, and locking it to whatever profile comes up first'. I mean, let's be honest. Had GFWL blocked the autologing, prompted me, as Steam did, with a dialog box saying, "GFWL is now going to tie the cdkey code to a profile, please select the profile you wish to use", or "GFWL has changed, profiles may no longer freely play games tied to a specific PC, instead we're locking them to the profile, please select the profile you wish to....." we'd not be in this situation, I'd not be ticked off, and life, in respect to this crap, would be good. So, the system COULD, and hopefully WILL be good someday. I can only hope and pray that my situation helps better the system someday. Well, and that they resolve it the right way. :)
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Re: Digitial games (still) stink, Steam / GFWL BOTH! 9 years 9 months ago #4921

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Amazing that I was talking about this same subject with some friends a few weeks back. Steam ticks me off and is a last resort to use. Also, I NEVER digitally download any games. I'd prefer a hard copy any day of the year.
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