UK Government Says There Is No Law Requiring Companies To Support Their Older Games

UK Government Says There Is No Law Requiring Companies To Support Their Older Games. Photo by Ubisoft

The UK government officially responded to the Stop Killing Games movement. They claim they’re doing their best to keep companies to a standard that will benefit consumers. However, they reiterate that no law required companies to continue supporting their older games.

UK Government Response Is Worrying

The Stop Killing Games movement was fueled by Ubisoft’s announcement to shut down their racing game, The Crew. They followed through on their promises and shut it down on Mar. 31. Consequently, gamers were furious. Now, many are petitioning different governments to keep the companies in line.

Now, Stop Killing Games has created multiple petitions to be signed in different countries. These petitions request that their respective governments watch out for their consumers. As such, this would require gaming companies to provide the bare minimum of upkeep to their games.

The UK’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport has replied to this petition by affirming that gamers “Recognize recent concerns raised by video games users regarding the long-term operability of purchased products.”

However, they also remind gamers that no UK law requires video game companies to maintain their older games.

“Consumers should be aware that there is no requirement in UK law compelling software companies and providers to support older versions of their operating systems, software or connected products… Consumers should also be aware that while there is a statutory right for goods (including intangible digital content) to be of a satisfactory quality, that will only be breached if they are not of the standard which a reasonable person would consider to be satisfactory, taking into account circumstances including the price and any description given. For example, a manufacturer’s support for a mobile phone is likely to be withdrawn as they launch new models. It will remain usable but without, for example, security updates, and over time some app developers may decide to withdraw support.”

Department of Culture, Media and Sport

You can view their complete response here. They responded because the UK government requires petitions with over 10K signatures to have a response. Moreover, if the petition reaches 100K signatures, it will be able to appear in Parliament for debate.

It’s Looking Bleak

UK Government Says There Is No Law Requiring Companies To Support Their Older Games. Photo by UK Government
Photo by UK Government

Gamers shouldn’t lose hope, but the UK government’s response doesn’t look good. They understand the issue of not upholding games that gamers paid for. However, they also recognize that these digital goods are similar to any other offering. If a phone company launches a new phone, it will eventually start slowing down support for its older models.

Ubisoft already has The Crew 2, and since this is their “flagship” product of the same name, they need not continue support of The Crew.

Ultimately, this is a problematic case to debate about. On one hand, gamers should be able to keep the game they paid for. On the other hand, companies will eventually run out of budget to keep supporting old games. Otherwise, this would only be a money sink.

Do you think Ubisoft shouldn’t have taken The Crew down?

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