Stop Killing Games aims to mount political and legal challenges to games going offline

This week’s shutdown of Ubisoft racing game The Crew has prompted the launch of a concerted effort to mount political and legal challenges to the increasingly common occurence of games you’ve bought becoming unplayable.

The Stop Killing Games initiative is the work of YouTuber Ross Scott, better known for his work running the Accursed Farms channel. Launched this week, the campaign calls upon video game fans around the world to petition their local governments about the issue, with a specific directive for past owners of The Crew itself.

Logging on to the Stop Killing Games website gives you options based on your global location for how to take action. Here in the UK, there’s a link to sign a petition on the UK government website – which at 100,000 signatures will mean the issue is considered for discussion in Parliament. Similar options exist in other countries.

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The main thrust of the campaign, though, is to use The Crew’s shutdown to launch a direct complaint with the DGCCRF, France’s Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention.

As Ubisoft is French, and headquarted in Paris, the aim here is to get the country’s authorities to act on the issue, as the company only informed players it would shut down the decade-old title in December last year.

Owners are encouraged to say that “Ubisoft has forced the game to stop working, no one can ever use it again” and “has done this purposefully… as a form of planned obsolescence”. The hope is that the DGCCRF will help to “protect buyers against having products destroyed by the company that sold them”.

In a video on the campaign’s launch, Scott admits he’s not overly concerned by The Crew in particular, but that it is a high-profile enough game – 12m people played it, according to Ubisoft – to warrant launching this campaign with. And while many of the Stop Killing Games’ methods are unlikely to succeed on their own (good luck with the UK Parliament!) the hope is to raise awareness and get the ball rolling with a concerted enough campaign that something happens, somewhere.

As a timely reminder, Nintendo is set to take 3DS and Wii U servers offline next week.

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