- Scribbled on May 13th, 2007 by S Holmes
- Filed in Editorial Content, New Release(s), PlayStation Network, Rumor Mill, Sony PlayStation 3
In my search for some user reviews of the PS3 Online Store’s newest game, Calling All Cars, I stumbled onto some interesting threads on GameFAQs and the Official PlayStation Forums. [Links intentionally omitted]
Apparently, some PS3 users are buying downloadable games such as flOw and Calling All Cars and then allowing friends and even strangers to also download a copy for free through some clearly questionable online exploits which they refer to as “sharing.” Essentially, this allows multiple PS3 users to download and have immediate access to the game while only one user actually pays for it.
Now, those who know more about this practice report some significant disadvantages to “sharing.” First, the sharer’s credit card account information, including online “wallet” contents, are accessible to the sharee. Second, “sharing” may inadvertently cause the sharer to lose his or her rights to the game if their PS3 loses data or needs to be replaced.
Although a few people online are suggesting that this practice is actually legal, I can’t imagine that it is since your purchase only grants you one license to the game. Also, I have no doubt it’s in violation of multiple parts of the online user agreement. However, there is another issue that will likely weigh on gamers’ consciences more than the question of its legality.
Gamers should recognize the extraordinary time and effort developers put into producing games today (yes, even EA). Despite skyrocketing production costs, game prices have seen only modest, if any, price increases. I’m fairly certain I paid $80 for Phantasy Star II and $72 for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past back in the day. So, the $60 standard for this generation seems pretty reasonable. Regardless, any price increases are certainly not proportional to the increased production costs.
[UPDATE: Good news! As many have pointed out, there is a method for sharing downloadable games. But the only official word I can get on it still fails to clearly explain what is and is not allowed with regard to sharing. Here is the official Playstation explanation of game sharing:
This seems to suggest that sharing is only allowed if the particular game's license provides for it. It's also pretty vague on what kind of use is permitted (online only, single player only, simultaneous with original purchaser, etc.) - a fact that probably works in favor of any use being permitted. Does anybody know if there are any games currently out that explicitly allow for sharing? If possible, please post the actual language from the license.]