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Availability of original games

SystemSystem Administrator Posts: 144
This discussion was created from comments split from: Is there a mod that removes questionable changes beamdog added into EE?.

Post edited by JuliusBorisov on
«1

Comments

  • KilivitzKilivitz Member Posts: 1,459
    edited October 2017

    If Beamdog did not have the right to fix a bug or a typo or add an item to the game, then modders have never had the right to fix bugs or typos or add items to the game.

    Whoa there now.

    The question is not whether Beamdog has "the right" to alter the games because from a legal standpoint, as the current license holders, of course they do. The discussion is about whether they SHOULD.

    I used to be on the field that we've had to appreciate the EEs for what they are because indeed, you can't please everyone. And, as many defenders of these new versions love to say, you can always go away and stick to the originals.

    Except that now you can't, and for me, that changes everything.

    Did you know that the original games have been removed from sale? The only way you can get them now is if you purchase the EEs first. Then you have to go through a convoluted process that will get you serial keys which can be used to download the originals.

    In other words, Beamdog has effectively turned BG:EE and BGII:EE into the de facto official versions of these games.

    I don't care how much you guys try to spin it around - it was a dick move.

    Had Beamdog's approach been similar to the one taken in PST:EE, this wouldn't be much of an issue. But when you mess around with these games as much as they have and then proceed to sweep the originals under the rug and hold them ransom, then I finally have a problem with you.

  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited October 2017
    It's not Beamdog who removed the original from sale, it's not thiers to remove.

    I suspect the rights have reverted to Hasbro, or are just an impenetrable legal mess.

    semiticgod
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 14,063
    edited October 2017
    Kilivitz said:

    If Beamdog did not have the right to fix a bug or a typo or add an item to the game, then modders have never had the right to fix bugs or typos or add items to the game.

    Whoa there now.

    The question is not whether Beamdog has "the right" to alter the games because from a legal standpoint, as the current license holders, of course they do. The discussion is about whether they SHOULD.
    I did not bring up the legal question out of nowhere; I was referring to a previous post. I don't want to get into a big back and forth over the issue, but I don't want to look like I was just making up some random straw man to attack.


    But have to raise the issue, what gave them the right to?

    Of course the lawyers end up deciding who owns intellectual property and yes it can be sold in this day and age.
    But should it be?
    Should money be the deciding factor as to whether something can be changed?

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,711
    Kilivitz said:

    Did you know that the original games have been removed from sale? The only way you can get them now is if you purchase the EEs first.

    You're just talking about direct downloads here I think - there are still plenty of new DVD versions on sale.

    mf2112
  • KilivitzKilivitz Member Posts: 1,459
    Fardragon said:

    It's not Beamdog who removed the original from sale, it's not thiers to remove.

    It was Beamdog.

    They have posted an official statement over at the GoG forums. Here's what it says:

    "The decision to take Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate II, Icewind Dale, and most recently, Planescape: Torment from sale on GOG and bundle them with the Beamdog Enhanced Edition titles was a joint decision between the Beamdog and GOG leadership teams, just as it was when the GOG Definitive Edition Bundles were first announced."

    And their justification was:

    "We believe that bundling the old titles alongside their newer Enhanced Editions creates a value unique to GOG and allows for owners to enjoy the option of choosing to play the game as it was on release or the versions we have made available."

    ...which doesn't make any sense. GoG made money from selling the originals, so the whole "value unique to GoG" argument is questionable. Second, "the option of choosing to play the game as it was on release" was also there.

    The only thing this bundle changes is that now you must pay Beamdog for the privilege of playing the originals.

    So considering that and the fact the originals are no longer easy to find and buy but hidden behind a convoluted process which most players won't even find out about, I think it's safe to say that Beamdog has effectively replaced the original games with their versions.

    typo_tilly
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 14,063
    So, before, you could buy the originals, but now, you buy both vanilla and EE together, without paying extra. That means you can in fact still get a new copy of the original.

    What is the complicated process to download the original version?

  • KilivitzKilivitz Member Posts: 1,459
    edited October 2017
    Grond0 said:

    Kilivitz said:

    Did you know that the original games have been removed from sale? The only way you can get them now is if you purchase the EEs first.

    You're just talking about direct downloads here I think - there are still plenty of new DVD versions on sale.
    The latest DVD version of these games was released around 2008, does not ship worldwide and is only compatible with Windows... XP. Google around and you'll find plenty of compatibility issues with any version of Windows that's less than 10 years old.

    GoG versions are compatible with the latest versions of Windows, MacOS and Linux. They also used to be cheaper and not require a DVD drive, which most modern computers don't even come with.

    You can't seriously argue that because you've got used sales of a 2008 DVD release flying around, it doesn't matter if a game's available for download.

    So, before, you could buy the originals, but now, you buy both vanilla and EE together, without paying extra. That means you can in fact still get a new copy of the original.

    You could buy the originals for 5 dollars each. Now you have to pay 20 dollars for each of the EEs. ˜Without paying extra" only counts if you intended to buy the EEs in the first place, which may not be the case.

    What is the complicated process to download the original version?

    You have to retrieve a serial key which is buried in the EE's page in your GoG library and redeem it at GoG's store. Oh, and you have to find it out for yourself, 'cause you're not getting more than a footnote saying "includes the original versions" at the store descriptions.

    If all Beamdog wants is to add value to their GoG releases, then why remove the originals from the store?

    How convenient for them to give you the originals for free while making sure that "free" means "after paying for our own version".

  • ArctodusArctodus Member Posts: 996
    I have to say that, even for someone like me, who actually likes Beamdog's changes and doesn't plan to play anything else but the EEs, I find it hard to justify. From the outside looking in, it does seem like a cold business move. At the end of the day, I'm always pro choice in these matters : you should be able to buy only the vanilla version if you wish, be it because you don't like the EEs. I disagree with most of the complains and controversies about the SoD/EEs games, but that doesn't mean the choice to buy the vanilla games alone should be taken away.

    KilivitzThacoBellPermidion_Stark
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 14,063
    Fair enough, though this was a joint decision in cooperation with GoG--not just Beamdog's sole decision.

    Arctodus
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,292
    edited October 2017
    Arctodus said:

    I have to say that, even for someone like me, who actually likes Beamdog's changes and doesn't plan to play anything else but the EEs, I find it hard to justify. From the outside looking in, it does seem like a cold business move. At the end of the day, I'm always pro choice in these matters : you should be able to buy only the vanilla version if you wish, be it because you don't like the EEs. I disagree with most of the complains and controversies about the SoD/EEs games, but that doesn't mean the choice to buy the vanilla games alone should be taken away.

    there's nothing cold or warm about it. business is business. they obviously removed the originals so the EE would sell better. renewed interest in BG would cause some buyers to go for the originals in order to have the classic experience, for the retro feel etc, so beamdog and gog just removed the originals as standalone items to redirect those dollars onto the ees. perfectly reasonable. complainers need to grow up and to discover that it's an everyday free market situation. wanna change the system? wanna strike the corporate evil? there's only like five million more evil market actors than beamdog in the world

    GrumBalrog99mf2112
  • KilivitzKilivitz Member Posts: 1,459
    In other words, no one should call out Beamdog on their underhanded business move because Capitalism. Okay then.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 14,063
    The profit motive isn't ideal, but every company on the planet depends on it to live. Companies that make money survive. Companies that don't make money die.

    Dead companies contribute nothing to the customer.

  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,099
    edited October 2017

    The profit motive isn't ideal, but every company on the planet depends on it to live. Companies that make money survive. Companies that don't make money die.

    Dead companies contribute nothing to the customer.

    Dead companies leave behind old, unsupported games. Of which fans, who are fortunate enough to own a copy, can mod to their tastes.

    Post edited by Grum on
    ronaldosemiticgod
  • batoorbatoor Member Posts: 677
    edited October 2017
    I don't think complaining or the occasional outrage is all that bad. It has worked sometimes, when companies have tried to push something really shady onto everyone. If people didn't get angry and upset, nothing would have been done. Not that I feel this applies to Beamdog in particular, nor was that GoG business their decision.

    But criticism is healthy imo.

    Ultimately it's hard to disagree that it's your own responsibility to research what exactly it is you're paying for. Approach the gaming industry with as much cynicism as you would any other business, actually I would say even more so in the digital age.

  • KilivitzKilivitz Member Posts: 1,459
    edited October 2017
    The need for profit should not give you a free pass to behave unethically. Rationalize it all you want with "welcome to the free market, kiddo, companies gotta stay afloat." At the end of the day, you're just enabling shitty behavior.

    Also, Grum's assumption about me not being a customer is incorrect. I've purchased every single release from Beamdog, often in more than one platform. I had already bought the original games from GoG before the bundling. The whole situation does not affect me directly.

    I'm just not okay with supporting a company that will give the middle finger to everyone who would dare forego purchasing the EEs in favor of the classic versions.

    I also don't like being lied to. Like when they blame WotC for it and later take it back and discreetly admit it was their idea all along (but only on GoG and not here, for some reason).

    If you want to take the neutral position because this does not affect you, fine. But please, don't embarass yourself trying to excuse the inexcusable, specially if all you've got going for you is "that's how capitalism works".

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,292
    Kilivitz said:

    In other words, no one should call out Beamdog on their underhanded business move because Capitalism. Okay then.

    it's not underhanded. seriously - why is it underhanded?

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 14,063
    Kilivitz said:

    don't embarass yourself

    A friendly reminder that personal attacks and insults are against the Site Rules. Say whatever you want, but leave your fellow forumites alone.

    ThacoBell
  • KilivitzKilivitz Member Posts: 1,459
    bob_veng said:

    Kilivitz said:

    In other words, no one should call out Beamdog on their underhanded business move because Capitalism. Okay then.

    it's not underhanded. seriously - why is it underhanded?
    Perhaps underhanded was not the best choice of words. I guess I would define the whole move as petty against people who refused to buy the EEs. What I feel to be underhanded (as in dishonest) is how they handled the whole business with the community, which I've explained in my previous post.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,292
    edited October 2017
    i don't get it, what's dishonest...where's the big fat lie?

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 14,063
    We don't need to dissect each other's posts word by word. Let's not get too deep into semantics.

    typo_tilly
  • profanitywarningprofanitywarning Member Posts: 292
    So the original games are no longer for sale. But if you really want to, you can still get them if you buy the updated, upgraded and improved version of these games. That's actually pretty nice if you ask me. The originals are -what- 18 and 15 years old? Of course they would no longer be available. They've been available for a very long time and they're now obsolete. However, if you really like to play those archaic versions, you still can, because if you buy the modern versions, you can get the old ones for free. Seems like a good deal to me.

    ThacoBell
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,292

    We don't need to dissect each other's posts word by word. Let's not get too deep into semantics.

    it's really not semantics, i'm trying to engage him on the substance...
    beamdog never said it's anything other than a business move, so hopefully our esteemed friend @Kilivitz can understand that when a company (any company) wraps their announcements in "you're gonna like it!!!", "GREAT VALUE!!!" that that doesn't constitute a lie. it's just the packaging, not the core message.

  • ArctodusArctodus Member Posts: 996
    edited October 2017
    @bob_veng I think the lie @Kilivitz is referring to is more about who took that decision to bundle the games. First, Beamdog said WotC took the decision, only to say later that it was their and GOG decision. I presume they said WotC took the decision to make the pill pass better for those who don't like Beamdog.

    Or it could be a mix of those two statements. Maybe Beamdog asked WotC for the Bundle and they accepted, presuming that they needed WotC agreement to do so. In this scenario, the two statements would be true, which is entirely possible. It's hard to know for sure from the outside.

    typo_tilly
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,292
    i think it's best to assume good faith and look to the future.

    any real fan of BG who knows it's a timeless classic would not want it to cost 5$ as if it's some badly dated, unattractive game, right? :D

    typo_tilly
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 7,024
    Kilivitz said:


    I also don't like being lied to. Like when they blame WotC for it and later take it back and discreetly admit it was their idea all along (but only on GoG and not here, for some reason).

    From the link from the post by Julius stating it was decision made by WotC:

    "The team at Beamdog was able to breathe a new life into the Infinity Engine classics." says Greg Tito, Communications Director for Dungeons & Dragons "We're proud to recognize their excellent work in offering the best possible experience and support for these legendary titles. We want these to become the definitive editions – featuring both the enhanced and classic versions of the games."


    The second link, the one you said they backtracked on, was to state that it was a joint decision by both GoG and Beamdog, and not just GoG's decision alone.

    So it was WotC (IP holder) telling Beamdog (licence holder) to work with GoG (distributor) to make this happen.

    semiticgodtypo_tillyArctodusThacoBell
  • KilivitzKilivitz Member Posts: 1,459
    Arctodus said:

    First, Beamdog said WotC took the decision, only to say later that it was their and GOG decision. I presume they said WotC took the decision to make the pill pass better for those who don't like Beamdog.

    Which implies all sorts of things about how much confidence you have on your work or how much respect you have for your customers. But I feel that my indignation is ultimately wasted on these forums. After five years, I should know better than to think any hard criticism of the EEs would fly around here.

    That's all I have to say about on the subject, folks. Take it as you will.

    As of our esteemed friend @bob_veng, congratulations on a fine job of moving the goalposts and disparaging my statements. I suppose there'll be no slap on the wrist for you.

    typo_tilly
  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    I don't think Beamdog would like the games to be unbundled. They probably don't get money from the original games? Also, one of the other BG owners (WotC? Hasbro?) likely also saw an opportunity for more sales from a price rise from bundling. ("Will the audience still buy it with a price rise?")

    Higher priced versions of the game (bundled) means upset fans and a poorer reputation. Lower (i.e., same as old prices) priced versions would mean fewer upset fans, a better reputation, but less profit. How much less profit? No idea. Life's trade-offs. If the games were unbundled now, how much goodwill would that make in people upset with Beamdog?

    And what does reputation mean? Look at ME: Andromeda's release. A mediocre game just ripped on. Unless the new game Beamdog releases is excellent, the company is going to have a hard time. It's easy to say that people deeply critical of Beamdog are a minority of hardcore isometric RPG players... but hardcore isometric RPG players are Beamdog's target audience.

    I don't normally think about this sort of thing. Really, I just want more patches.

    batoorArctodusThacoBell
  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 971
    I can see how people would want to have the original versions on sale, but does it really affect many people? Those of us played the original tend to have copies (I have both a physical and a digital copy of the original BG).

    Newer players would not care that much about the minor changes, and would probably buy the enhanced copy anyway.

    lefreuttypo_tillyIllustair
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