The videogames industry is approaching a tipping point.
Frightened by the effects of piracy and second-hand sales on their profits, publishers are inflicting ever more punishing methods of control over their customers. From draconian DRM on PC titles, to online passes and on-the-disc DLC for console releases, the record labels of the gaming industry have never been more blatant in their disregard for the consumer.
But in fiercely protecting their profit margins, publishers routinely neglect the most important part of any business: customer satisfaction. Otherwise known as giving the people what they want.
As publishers push towards a download-only future - where prices are fixed and reselling or sharing not possible - gamers are becoming more and more unsettled by their role in proceedings. Are we being led in a not-so-merry dance, by corporate entities dictating all of our entertainment choices, from the range of games we play, to the prices we pay, and how we’re able to buy them? In what other medium has this been allowed to happen?
Gaming is a young industry prone to rash and immature misjudgments. If gamers, whose money keeps the wheels of this machine turning, don’t take a stand today then the damage may soon be too great. If publishers aren’t made to sit up and take notice of our true role as consumers, our protests will be replaced with an apathy reflected by dwindling software sales. Why? Because most of that userbase will not bother to speak out and warn of their impending departure. They will simply disappear, driven away from a commercialized artform that has nothing left to offer them.
Shenmue is not the savior of the videogames industry. But it serves as a symbolic clarion call ahead of that tipping point. The cry for Sega - who for over a decade have stated no plans to resolve Shenmue 2’s cliffhanger - to release the license to Yu Suzuki so that he can produce the sequel that both he and the passionate fanbase long to see, is a cause that the entire gaming community can and should get behind. It encapsulates everything that’s important in the balance of power between gamers and publishers.
Sega may not want to fund Shenmue 3, due to their mistimed history with the franchise. But Suzuki has investors who do. All we ask is for Sega to clear the way and give him the license, instead of pointlessly clinging to control for its own sake. By continuing to delay the resolution of the Shenmue saga, Sega harms the satisfaction of its own customers. By not giving Yu the Shenmue license, they are not giving the people what they want.
Now more than ever is the time for them to make that positive gesture; to reach out that olive branch to a disillusioned marketplace. They may not profit from the game itself, but a little PR goes a long way at a time when publishers are increasingly testing the loyalty of consumers.
Join us to help Sega make the right decision - for them, for us, and for the business as a whole. This Facebook page is filled with reasons why Shenmue fans demand for this to happen, but the picture is so much bigger than that. A statement of intent from Sega right now could stem the flow, if not turn the tide, of resentment towards publishers and their attitude towards gamers. If you care about what you play and how you’re treated for it, be a part of making that happen.
On the 3rd of every month, fans from around the world descend upon Twitter for one purpose: asking Sega to #GiveYuTheShenmueLicense. Participation levels must be high enough to get the hashtag trending if we are to circumvent the disdain of Sega’s social community team and force others in the company to take notice. With the public spotlight shone upon them, Sega will know that their reputation can either be helped or hindered by whether or not they respond to this pressure.
We can’t make them do the right thing. All we can do is put them in that situation. But you can help us do it.
Please take part in the Tweetathon: http://www.facebook.com/TeamYu/posts/398263746852337
Stand up for gamers. Show not just Sega but every selfishly cynical publisher that they don’t control our entertainment, we - the audience - do. If we can even start to make them realize this, then maybe the tipping point won’t be reached after all.” —Team Yu
Fuck Pictures. There lame! And alot of work to take! So Ill just write my posts from now on! So they stand out more!
What I do all week! Who the fuck Knows!!! It was me and my cousin all week, just chilling relaxing all cool like and then a couple of guys, who were up to no good, starting making trouble in my neighborhood.
Happy Birthday Richard.