Epic Games integrates into GoG, and Tim Sweeney advocates for universal game ownership across all platforms

Delicieuxz

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GoG has announced that Epic Games now has official integration with Goglaxy 2.0.

https://twitter.com/GOGGalaxy/status/1285175458791854080

Following that announcement, Tim Sweeney went on Twitter advocating for "universal ownership" of digital items - meaning the games and DLC that people purchase through digital storefronts. By "universal ownership", he means that when someone buys a game or DLC on one platform, they receive access to their purchase on all participating platforms.

https://twitter.com/TimSweeneyEpic/status/1285287801731391489

Tim Sweeney's larger commentary is this:
Ultimately, ownership of digital items should be a universal notion, independent of stores and platforms. So much of the digital world today is frustrated by powerful intermediaries whose toll booths obstruct open commerce to keep customers and their purchases locked in.

Epic’s committed to working with all willing ecosystems to connect our stores and recognize universal ownership. Early bits include purchase integration with Humble and others, and library visibility to GOG. A lot more will be coming over time.

Possible implementation strategies: federated (each store maintains its own ownership records, but can communicate with other stores and recognize theirs too); clearinghouse (stores agree on a common ownership database); decentralized (a blockchain type leger tracks ownership).

There's no question this thing will start with federated ownership, because it's easy to adopt incrementally without disrupting existing stores. But that's doesn't scale well, so it's probably not the ultimate solution.


Tim also made some replies in response to people commenting on his statements:

"If ownership of games is universal, then you don’t need every store or platform to operate forever, you just need some that do continue on."

"Epic's aim is to bring players in, not lock players in. Free games, exclusives, and free Epic Online Services for developers of other games are all part of this effort to bring players in. Interconnection of stores and accounts avoids lock-in."

"Each company is advancing in different areas, GOG with a universal launcher, Epic with account and purchasing integration. Epic Online Services (cross-platform friends, matchmaking, accounts, etc) support all platforms and stores!"

"Wouldn’t it be purely better for everyone if Steam purchases were available on other stores and platforms that hosted the game, and if Steam hosted the PC version of games you’ve bought on other stores and platforms?"

"The cost of download bandwidth is sooo small. Any store should be easily able to pay bandwidth costs for third party games from the money they do make by selling games, and any reasonable store would love to have customers frequently visiting."


This comment in particular ("possession!=ownership"), looked-at in the context of his emphasis on "universal ownership", seems to show that Tim Sweeney is actually on the side of game ownership. In acknowledging the difference between mere possession and actual ownership, he is saying that his statements of "universal ownership" take, as granted, that people own their purchased games:

https://twitter.com/TimSweeneyEpic/status/1285392235123671041

Tim's expressed position on the matter is in agreement with GoG's own, as GoG openly supports the fact that people own their purchased games:

nyourgamespic.png.1833c9fee757c8bb401d4d9245131d88.png

Related to the topic of game ownership, further down in the comments replying to Tim's posts, a lengthy debate took place between someone who claims to be a lawyer and another poster regarding the topic of game ownership. The lawyer argued that EULAs are enforceable in the US and that people don't own their games. The other person told them that's not so.

https://twitter.com/For_the_skies/status/1285383749408980993

In the course of the debate the lawyer continually used false arguments including misrepresentations, inapplicable conflations between topics courts have ruled on, appeals to authority, and dishonest tricks in general to try to simply have their argument accepted as fact.

A more detailed look at the tricks they employed is here:

- They appealed many times to a Wikipedia list of court cases regarding use of online services where the verdict was in favour of the "clickwrap" user agreements. They claimed those verdicts in-favour of the clickwrap agreements show that EULAs are considered binding under law. However, all those cases were about the rights of a user of an online service who had to agree to a Terms of Service to use somebody-else's service, and not about the rights a person receives when they purchase a good. Their argument here was false and disingenuously tried to conflate the rulings regarding services to what the law is for goods, when the rules for services (which involves using somebody-else's property) are different than the rules for your purchased goods (which are your own property): You indeed have to agree to the terms of another person in order to use their property (such as their offered service), but, outside of the law, someone else can't dictate terms on how you may use your own property (which are your purchased goods).

- They repeatedly pretended that a lower court's older ruling on a matter (ToS agreement validity) which is irrelevant to the topic of purchased game ownership supercedes the higher Supreme Court's newer ruling on the exact matter of purchased good ownership. But when it comes to rulings, newer takes precedent over older, and higher court rulings overrule lower court rulings - and the Supreme Court is the US' highest court and its decisions apply to all of the US and take precedence over all the rest of the US' courts and overrule any prior ruling that is in contradiction to the Supreme Court's rulings.

- They claimed that the US Supreme Court's ruling which literally addressed and encompassed all goods was being interpreted too broadly when used to claim the first-sale doctrine applies to all goods, while simultaneously claiming that the Feldman v. Google ruling, which didn't at-all relate to the topic at-hand and was about a online user ToS agreement for a service, meant that EULAs are binding on purchasers of software goods - while also ignoring that even if that verdict had meant what they claimed (and it didn't), it would have still been superceded anyway by the newer Supreme Court ruling that the first-sale doctrine applies to all goods (with software being specifically mentioned by the Supreme Court as subject to the first-sale doctrine).

- They did the former while claiming that the Feldman v. Google verdict included mention of the decision applying to goods, when the Feldman v. Google court order only mentions the word "good" twice and neither time supports their claim. The two uses of the word "good" in the Feldman v. Google order are these:

"Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint, which eliminated the express contract claim and asserted instead claims styled as (1) breach of implied contract, (2) breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing"

“Standardization of agreements serves many of the same functions as standardization of goods and services; both are essential to a system of mass production and distribution."

Heck, that even shows the opposite of what the lawyer claimed: The court order states that 'goods vs services' is standardized, and essentially so, and so not open to interpretation based on the type of good or service it is or exemption based on a seller writing an EULA.

- They argued that a brief Wikipedia summation about the 2013 US Supreme Court ruling was evidence that the 2013 Supreme Court ruling only applies to foreign copyrighted works rather than all goods, while ignoring that the court explicitly explained in its ruling that the very reason why the first-sale doctrine must apply to foreign copyrighted works is because there can be no exception or exemption to the type of good which the first-sale doctrine applies to, with the judge specifically mentioning software as an example of a good which the first-sale doctrine applies to.

- They used ostentatious phrasing and repeated appeals to the authority of being a lawyer to try to suggest their argument wins by default on those grounds, despite that being a lawyer isn't a badge of credibility for a vested-interest legal argument because a lawyer is an advocate for hire and will argue and pull every trick they can to secure benefit and a win for their client's interests.


Their tactic, not as an internet troll but as a lawyer protecting their clients' interests and also their personal reputation as a paid-proponent of a certain line of argument which serves their clients' interests, was to keep making false claims about things, hoping that the other person wouldn't know the information which invalidated their claims and so would just accept the arguments as true and authoritative coming from a lawyer, so that people reading them would believe those arguments had been conceded to, and so they would be inclined to assume those arguments had validity and those people would be influenced by that going forward, effectively biasing public perception in favour of those who oppose game ownership.

Their many wilful disingenuous arguments shows what to be on guard for with a lawyer, and I think is a lesson to remember that a lawyer is not a purveyor of truth unless the topic they're speaking on is of no consequence to their personal practice, or if the truth is what they are being paid to argue in a particular case. A lawyer is an advocate for hire and they will bend every which way, as the one in this debate did, to argue and defend the interest of their employer. And even if they don't have a current client in the related field, if they are a lawyer who has a history of advocating for copyright holders or software publishers, or who has, themself, earned money writing EULAs, then they will consider it in their personal best interest to protect the interests of copyright holders and software publishers to the exclusion of others.


A related thread (updated February 2020): You own the software that you purchase, and any claims otherwise are urban myth or corporate propaganda
 
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odditory

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The day Sweeney stops bribing developers and publishers to delete or severely delay their games from being sold on Steam and GOG is the day anything he says can be taken seriously. Until then, he's grasping at anything to try to legitimize his joke of a store.

If you had a new neighbor that just moved in and he starts inviting everyone on the street to frequent backyard barbecues to try to build goodwill, but then you also find out he's offering to pay certain neighbors not to talk to you anymore, you're going to question his trustworthiness and motives.
 
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M76

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Great idea on paper, but what does this mean in practice? Would this work with exclusives too? Imagine you can't even sell a game but you have to support it because you are in this co-op.
 

westrock2000

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When you make a purchase on Steam now, you have to agree to the "subscriber" terms of service for every purchase. Its seems Steam might be side stepping this issue by not selling you anything. Instead you pay a one time "subscription" fee to use that product indefinitely.....until you can't. So that gets Steam off the hook for individual ownership.

https://store.steampowered.com/subscriber_agreement/

For example:


E. Retail Purchase
Valve may offer or require a Subscription for purchasers of retail packaged product versions or OEM versions of Valve products. The "CD-Key" or "Product Key" accompanying such versions is used to activate your Subscription.


F. Steam Authorized Resellers
You may purchase a Subscription through an authorized reseller of Valve. The "Product Key" accompanying such purchase will be used to activate your Subscription. If you purchase a Subscription from an authorized reseller of Valve, you agree to direct all questions regarding the Product Key to that reseller.
 

westrock2000

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Oh also, none of these games or services are sold for the sake of art or your enjoyment. They are created and sold to generate revenue, for everyone involved. That's the only reason these different services and games exist. This notion of universal ownership would seem to fly in the face of the long historical precidence to everyone trying to hustle everyone. Companies around the world are glad I own Terminator 2 on 5 different forms of media. They would not like me buying it once.
 
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It took forever but CDPR/GoG finally acknowledged my Steam copy of The Witcher 3.

I agree absolutely about universal ownership of the software across the platforms. I reserve re-purchasing a game for one that I own the disc but is too much effort to get working, which is mostly titles from 15-25 years ago on GoG -- I've tired of popping in the discs to be met with installer cannot be run, etc. and have to scour the net for some modified .exe/installer from a Russian (or insert any other non-US) domain.
 

Delicieuxz

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When you make a purchase on Steam now, you have to agree to the "subscriber" terms of service for every purchase. Its seems Steam might be side stepping this issue by not selling you anything. Instead you pay a one time "subscription" fee to use that product indefinitely.....until you can't. So that gets Steam off the hook for individual ownership.

https://store.steampowered.com/subscriber_agreement/

For example:

E. Retail Purchase
Valve may offer or require a Subscription for purchasers of retail packaged product versions or OEM versions of Valve products. The "CD-Key" or "Product Key" accompanying such versions is used to activate your Subscription.

F. Steam Authorized Resellers
You may purchase a Subscription through an authorized reseller of Valve. The "Product Key" accompanying such purchase will be used to activate your Subscription. If you purchase a Subscription from an authorized reseller of Valve, you agree to direct all questions regarding the Product Key to that reseller.

That is not true, and courts have already ruled on this against Valve. The Steam Subscriber Agreement applies only to the Steam service. Valve has no authority whatsoever over the games they sell - they aren't Valve's property at any point in the transaction. Valve merely handles the distribution while only receiving money in relation to the games sold through their Steam platform after someone using their storefront purchases said game.

The subscription in question relating to Valve's Steam service is the subscription to use the Steam platform and have an account on it. A service a person uses is not owned by the person using it, and they don't purchase the service when they purchase a good through the service (same thing with buying items off of Amazon or eBay). But the games sold through that service are goods and are subject to entirely different rules under law.

The individual subscriptions mentioned in Steam's Subscriber Agreement are subscriptions to be able to download said game through the Steam service. Even if Valve cuts you off from their service, you continue to be the exclusive owner of the games which you purchased through the Steam service.

Oh also, none of these games or services are sold for the sake of art or your enjoyment. They are created and sold to generate revenue, for everyone involved. That's the only reason these different services and games exist. This notion of universal ownership would seem to fly in the face of the long historical precidence to everyone trying to hustle everyone. Companies around the world are glad I own Terminator 2 on 5 different forms of media. They would not like me buying it once.

You can equally argue that every good you purchase is sold for the company's revenue and not your enjoyment (although, I don't think that's completely true - an individual product is made for a variety of reasons, customer enjoyment often being one of them). Yet you own your copies of Terminator 2 - just as you own your copies of the games you've purchased through Steam.
 

Ranulfo

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Yeah, Tim says one thing and does another. Rocket League is soon to be exclusive to Epic Games store for PC when they go to free to play. No new players on Steam. It looks like you'll have integrated RL account to play across PC and consoles though. But hey, if Timmy wants to give me a steam key for a couple of Epic exclusives that are now on Steam, go for it. Last I read Griftlands is now on Steam and the devs will get you a Steam key if you show them your Epic receipt.

https://www.rocketleague.com/news/rocket-league-going-free-to-play-this-summer/
 

odditory

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Yeah, Tim says one thing and does another. Rocket League is soon to be exclusive to Epic Games store for PC when they go to free to play. No new players on Steam.
Yep. When the Rocket League buyout happened, the devs swore "Having Epic on our side now won't change anything!". Fast forward, and Mac, Linux and Steam users have been left to rot.

When other stores sell games, it's "keeping customers and their purchases locked in." But when Epic blocks a game from selling on other stores, it's them trying to "bring players in."
 

odditory

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This is the first thing Epic Games has done to make me want to support them. That being said, I'll see Half Life 5 before Gaben joins in.
Except Epic hasn't actually done anything - the integration is a GOG Galaxy feature, not an EGS feature. All Tim's trying to do is take credit for the hard work of others.

If Tim wants to prove how much he (suddenly) loves GOG, or this kumbaya "universal ownership" PR nonsense, stop preventing or severely delaying titles from being sold on GOG. Case in point, Mortal Shell. GOG announced the game is coming to the platform, but not until after the 1-year artificial exclusivity on EGS ends in September 2021.
 
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Sounds like he wants all account data to be shared - hey Tim:
Code:
....................../´¯/)
....................,/¯../
.................../..../
............./´¯/'...'/´¯¯`·¸
........../'/.../..../......./¨¯\
........('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...')
.........\.................'...../
..........''...\.......... _.·´
............\..............(
..............\.............\...
 

GotNoRice

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I mostly agree with the idea of "universal ownership of digital items", but while I would love to believe that this guy actually cares, I find it much more likely that it's due to these stores (Epic Games and GoG Galaxy) being among the smallest game stores out there. If his store was one of the largest, would he still care? I have my doubts.

I also suspect that his opinion would change very quickly if people were able to simply play Epic and GoG games using steam and not even have to install those other launchers.
 

Conman

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Ah yes, the person you hate says something you liked so now you have to hate it. Tim Sweeney bad, orange man bad.
Social justice gamers are a never-ending source of entertainment.

Boy you really know how to stretch reality to fit your narrative. Just in case you missed it this is a thread about video game stores not Trump and SJWs.
 

Lakados

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I like it, I mean 90% of the time I have to register the game anyways with the developer for a login anyways. So why would it matter who gets the cut for the sale as long as the developer gets theirs. Then it becomes a game of who can develop the best store and the best tool set and not about the companies behind the launcher themselves. Would also mean an end to the exclusives or a huge change to how they work at least.
 

Ebernanut

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I was wondering how this isn't in direct conflict with their efforts to buy exclusives but I think his comment about people not having to worry about a digital store going belly up and losing access to their games probably shows his true motivation behind the comment since I've seen that concern voiced by many that avoid EGS.

As for the secondary part about the alleged lawyers comments, if they think it's 100% settled case law they shouldn't be practicing in that field or commenting as a lawyer but if they think it's settled in favor of the games as a service argument then they should be ignored completely.
 

whateverer

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And yet, this is just marketing bullshit.. On this very same day, they a locking-down all new Steam players for Rocket League.

They're also shutting down ALL NEW potential players on Linux and OSX , because " all participating platform " is subject to change at the land of Epic Megagames. :(

Fuck Tim Sweeny, you can't pretend to believe this bullshit if you have paid platform exclusives, ad nowhere near the platform support of Steam.
 
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kju1

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i wish this would happen and i wish tim sweeney luck on making it happen but you know there will be publisher backlash since they heavily use the closed ecosystem of launchers to increase profit.

Except this doesn't make sense financially and he's oversimplified the issue. Its far more than just download bandwidth. There are storage costs (presumably at CDNs to improve speed), marketing, accounting, etc.

How do you confirm I purchased a game on Epic and should have access to it on CustomPlatformX (CPX)? Serial keys? Those are a joke. API integration? Costs money to build and maintain. Do you standardize prices? What if CPX gets a 10% cut of the profit vs Epic getting 30%? Now you've fucked over CPX by buying at Epic because you trust them more with your card (damn that was hard to say) AND they've incurred costs.

Ok revenue sharing you liberals say...so how do you split it up fairly? CPX gets 50% of all Epics sales of games it also hosts? Whats that look like when CPY joins the bandwagon? 33% each?

This is an incredibly complicated thing to do and quite frankly I DONT think it should happen. I want to continue to foster competition between Steam and Epic. I want those sales and giveaways to push each other around to compete for my business.

Yes I am a dirty stinking capitalist and loving every minute of it.
 

Comixbooks

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I have nothing again Epic I wish it wouldnt delete games with the clients uninstall. So I have the install backed up on a HDD. As much as I like Steam it's just not the same without the exclusives.
 

sirmonkey1985

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There is probably a lot of nervousness at Epic over having Tencent own 40% of their company.

why would they be? Tencent owns a shit load of gaming studio's and they literally don't care what any of them are doing as long as they're not losing money. they basically act as a bank.
 
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whateverer

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Well, considering this guy outright mocks Linux..

View attachment 264028


Exactly this. The man is a whiny and manipulative every time I've heard him speak. He saw the money and influence held by Steam, and said "hey, I deserve to have ALL of that," without ever realizing how much work it entailed.

He's convinced an army of Free Game Seekers, even though his product is nowhere near competitive. I expect he will continue to take massive shortcuts like these to reach his goal, and we will end-up with yet-another useless Origin clone :rolleyes:
 
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Comixbooks

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Tim S. just needs the entire Warhammer franchise on Epic now and every Japanese title then make them all ftp.
 

twonunpackmule

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This is the first thing Epic Games has done to make me want to support them. That being said, I'll see Half Life 5 before Gaben joins in.

Really? Because Valve basically tried doing this already as it is. Granted, using their storefront...but it's just a continuation of this same stance. Valve gave you every version of their own titles for all the platforms it supported. If you bought the PS3 version of Portal 2, you got the PC version too. Valve also included Linux versions.

The issue isn't whether Steam supports it or not. They don't own others property. They merely are the storefront. Valve has talked about universal ownership before. So, I don't think it's something they'd really be against. Now, companies? Just ask Nvidia how that went with their streaming platform.

I can actually get behind this...but, my trust for Tim Sweeney is about as much as it is for CCP. Until he removes their money and influence from his business, I can not and will not support him.
 

kju1

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Every Chinese owned or affiliated company is under major scrutiny now and the federal government can seize their assets.

Way to spread some fud. They arent wholly owned by a Chinese company anyway and any seizure of assets would likely be limited to seizing the stocks Chinese nationals own and would also be contested in court in about .02 microseconds. Not to mention the internal brouhaha that would result from such a seizure.

Plus its not like the government can just walk in and say "ok its not yours anymore because we dont like what China is doing and they invested in you." There are laws governing these things...you know due process. You really should read up on civil asset forfeiture.
 

Flogger23m

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Valve has talked about universal ownership before.

Valve has demonstrated in the past they won't support this. If you're buying elsewhere and redeeming on their store, you're using their bandwidth so its an net loss for them. They did this with Eagle Dynamics and DCS. For a long time they allowed you to redeem your keys on Steam that you originally bought on the developers E-shop, but then they told ED that this had to stop some years back. They weren't going to pay for something that earned them zero profits.

I can't say I blame them.
 
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