One World! One Release Date!

PC gaming site Rock, Paper, Shotgun has kicked off a little campaign called "No Oceans". It's aimed at synchronising PC release dates around the world. And I can't think of a better campaign to get behind.

Right now, for example, it's Wednesday night on March 23 here in Australia. I've had a copy of Crysis 2 downloaded from Steam for a few hours now. I can see on Twitter, and in our comments section, that people are playing the game. I can't. Not until Thursday. Why? Because that's when the game "unlocks" in Australia, granting me access to the thing.

The notion of restricting downloaded content based on national borders is absurd. The internet makes a mockery of individual markets, because we're all here, together, at the same time and in the same place. Keeping me from a game that others are playing based on my geographical location, when I downloaded, will play and talk about the game on the internet, is just stupid.

While there are reasons for delays when it comes to physical copies of games (those things take time to manufacture and ship around!), there's no excuse for this kind of artificial division of a game's fanbase. If the downloadable version of a PC game comes out at a certain time in the US, or Europe, then that should be the time it's released (or unlocked) everywhere.

No Oceans: Call For Worldwide Release Dates [Rock, Paper, Shotgun]


Comments

    I'm signing this thing, I'm sitting here, on a thursday at 8:30 AM and theres still 2 hours until this thing is unlocked, it's absurd!

    I'm down! At the very least digital content should share the same release date.

    Actually, if you thought about it for a second, there are legitimate reasons to lock us for digital download unlocks until the same time that retail can start selling it. However, the entire world should get the game at retail within a 24hr time span (disregarding any localisation required due to language translation needed)

      Care to share so we can actually have a conversation?

        Publishers need store space to advertise their products to people who are just browsing, or those who aren't constantly connected to what is being released like those of us on Kotaku are. If you start letting games come out digitally days before it comes out retail, retailers will refuse to stock those games, resulting in lower sales (because not everyone has the inclination or knowledge to import or purchase digitally), which results in less funding for the next game that they work on.

        Some retailers are already talking about refusing to stock games that require Steam registration - I know for a fact they'll go into open revolt if every game unlocks days before they can sell it.

        As much as we hate retailers and the delay, currently retail games stores are essential, and the delay in unlock times is essential to those retail stores. It's not possible for those retail stores to adapt to the online market, because it's not the retailers deciding to hold back the product, its the publishers.

        The best result for everyone here is a 24hr worldwide release window, where the game would unlock digitally at midnight somewhere in the world (probably west coast american), and then be available for retail as the stores open that day.

      Not really if the pricing difference hasn't managed to sell you on buying it digitally. Then the extra 8 hours to days that could exsist isn't gonna effect you to much.

      And that simply means that the developers should set the date as the 8th and make sure everywhere relevant has a copy.

      Not to mention some PC games are lucky to ever be sold in australia, unless you have an awesome local store

    I understand the want to have games released at the same time around the world (it is also one of my wants). But unless they are able to release the boxed copy at the same time as releasing the digital downloaded copy retailers would be up in arms against it.
    Games are already cheaper (most of the time) when purchasing a digital copy, if they were released earlier as well how would retailers survive that.
    I understand that digital downloads apply more to PC titles, Also that retailers these days do not sell anywhere near as many PC titles as console titles.

      Retailers should release earlier, then! That's all there is to it. Or delay the US release by 1-2 days so there can be a simultaneous release. It's not that hard!

        Don't blame the retailers - they don't set the release dates. It's the publishers.

    If I have to wait an extra day for Portal 2 I will not be happy. I already have leave booked for April 19!

      Well, the orange box was delayed here by two weeks back in 07. I cancelled my preorder a week in and just got it off steam.
      I think L4D came out simultaneously worldwide, so it is possible. I just think the americans don't like the idea of us getting to play before them, not that I mind a delay of a couple of hours to a day if they're really fussed about it.

      Just so long as there's no borderlands repeats... But we can always VPN to look like we're in another country to fool the authentication.

      A curious extension to this is when I got Dead Space 2 on steam, it was a delayed australian release. But when I put my key into the EA download manager, it didn't care and was fine to let me download and play it.

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