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UK government officially responds to ‘Stop Killing Games’ petition

The UK government has officially responded to a popular petition that has been doing the rounds recently. After Ubisoft shut down The Crew and actively removed the game from customer’s digital libraries, the Stop Killing Games campaign kicked off, asking the government to prevent games companies from making their games completely unplayable once online services come to an end. Unfortunately, the UK government is siding with the game publishers on this one.

The Stop Killing Games campaign's petition surpassed the 10,000 signatures needed to merit an official response from the government. In its statement, the Department of Culture, Media & Sport stated that “there is no requirement in UK law compelling software companies and providers to support older versions” of their software. The government also added that “there may be occasions where companies make commercial decisions based on the high running costs of maintaining older servers for video games that have a declining userbase”.

However, the statement does also add that “if consumers are led to believe that a game will remain playable indefinitely for certain systems”, then the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations Act could potentially be applied, which would require companies to ensure the game “remains technically feasible”, through an offline mode.

The petition is still going on, so if it reaches 100,000 signatures by the 16th of October, then the topic will be considered for debate in Parliament. In a statement giving to GI.biz, the organisers behind the Stop Killing Games campaign have said that they will be consulting a lawyer to see about legal options consumers may have in the wake of games like The Crew being shutdown for good and pulled from consumer libraries.

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KitGuru Says: While there will always be some games designed to be ‘always online' the vast majority simply don't need to be. There is no reason why The Crew couldn't have had an offline mode. Given all of the issues we regularly see with online games shutting down and being inaccessible forever, it baffles me that more developers aren't designing games with offline modes in mind. 

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