Europe calls for glitch-free game guarantees

Proposed European guidelines could mean an end to the misery of bug-filled video games. But manufacturers say the rules would be unworkable and could even limit how many games are developed.

The European Commission, the administrative arm of the European Union, says games should lose their current exemption from quality guarantee laws. As things stand, there’s no legal comeback for buyers, even if a game has a bug that makes it impossible to finish.

If the proposals came into force, manufacturers would have to offer a minimum two-year guarantee that games would work properly. Officials say there is a risk some customers would abuse this by returning games for spurious reasons after they were done playing with them, but that this doesn’t outweigh the right of honest players to be protected from faulty products.

However, Tiga, the trade association of video games producers in Europe, says the rules would deter manufacturers from producing innovative games for fear that a bug could prove costly. Its spokesman Richard Wilson (pictured right) told the BBC that problems often occur because games take so long to develop that it’s not always possible to predict exactly what hardware will be in use when the game is eventually released.

The Business Software Alliance claims it is wrong in principle to apply general consumer laws to video games because software is licensed rather than sold, meaning any problems must be dealt with through the civil court system.

The Commission is also aiming to bring more consistency to national laws dealing with piracy, and to stop firms offering software licenses which are restricted to particular European countries. If it goes ahead with the plans, European governments would be required to introduce the changes to their domestic laws.

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5 Responses to Europe calls for glitch-free game guarantees

  1. This is a step in the right direction, for computer games there is really no limit to what can go wrong depending on the system it's running on. I also find though that the problem with games today is that the internet allows for easy fixes to be distributed making it easier for distributers to force developers to rush their product so it can be put on the shelves, and then patched later. Although there have been known development teams who brought out some incredible games (ie. Black Isle/Troika) which were riddled with bugs and glitches from the start but the content was so good they were easily ignored.

  2. This is a step in the right direction, for computer games there is really no limit to what can go wrong depending on the system it’s running on. I also find though that the problem with games today is that the internet allows for easy fixes to be distributed making it easier for distributers to force developers to rush their product so it can be put on the shelves, and then patched later. Although there have been known development teams who brought out some incredible games (ie. Black Isle/Troika) which were riddled with bugs and glitches from the start but the content was so good they were easily ignored.

  3. This is a step in the right direction, for computer games there is really no limit to what can go wrong depending on the system it’s running on. I also find though that the problem with games today is that the internet allows for easy fixes to be distributed making it easier for distributers to force developers to rush their product so it can be put on the shelves, and then patched later. Although there have been known development teams who brought out some incredible games (ie. Black Isle/Troika) which were riddled with bugs and glitches from the start but the content was so good they were easily ignored.

  4. If you want more glitch free gaming then go play on a console. Seems like the EA wants the impossible.

    But I do think that they should have to at least continue to patch the game for a year or so after it comes out.

    But I cant think of a game I played that I couldn't play until the end due to some glitch.

  5. If you want more glitch free gaming then go play on a console. Seems like the EA wants the impossible.

    But I do think that they should have to at least continue to patch the game for a year or so after it comes out.

    But I cant think of a game I played that I couldn’t play until the end due to some glitch.