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"China" returned 100 posts
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I just opened this topic and that site loaded differently and there was some long black text under Time4Tea's profile. Not sure what was there but it started something like... "Sorry, unfortunately this profile..." and some other long text.
Unfortunately, I clicked on refresh automatically before and I lost it before I could read it.

Just saying it was some weird and fishy text. It looked like some internal thing. Not sure what it was. First impression was it being info about you being blocked or something, but I refreshed. After that I saw you have nothing like that there and your profile is not blocked.

Just people be carefull what is GOG doing with your data and their censorship. I asked for permanent removal of profile picture and two workers were on it and confirmend it (support + technical guy) and after I made a ticket some time after and some internal bug occured, my profile picture (and probably some other data) is back and nobody answered to me since why they lie about my data being permanently deleted (GDPR) and I had it to report to EDPS.

Your data are in China by now. I didn't expect GOG being so rotten.
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Ramor_: I just opened this topic and that site loaded differently and there was some long black text under Time4Tea's profile. Not sure what was there but it started something like... "Sorry, unfortunately this profile..." and some other long text.
Unfortunately, I clicked on refresh automatically before and I lost it before I could read it.

Just saying it was some weird and fishy text. It looked like some internal thing. Not sure what it was. First impression was it being info about you being blocked or something, but I refreshed. After that I saw you have nothing like that there and your profile is not blocked.

Just people be carefull what is GOG doing with your data and their censorship. I asked for permanent removal of profile picture and two workers were on it and confirmend it (support + technical guy) and after I made a ticket some time after and some internal bug occured, my profile picture (and probably some other data) is back and nobody answered to me since why they lie about my data being permanently deleted (GDPR) and I had it to report to EDPS.

Your data are in China by now. I didn't expect GOG being so rotten.
Spooky story! :o
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Ancient-Red-Dragon: "They can't" --- that statment is sheer BS. There is nothing whatsoever at all to stop GOG from releasing Devotion.

The only reason why they don't is because they shamefully cower in fear over potentially offending the CCP; and that is not a legitimate reason.
I'd love to see you in the position of the guy making that decision. Release Devotion, yay! Maybe nothing but a little shitstorm happens. Maybe GOG get's blocked in China, barring them from a market of millions of potential customers, Cyberpunk gets banned over there, you lose your job (have you wife and kids?) over it, Devotion quickly gets delisted anyway to make amends (with or without success), GOG/CDPR lose a lot of money, shareholders rattle their sabers in court...

Yeah, real easy to stand up for principles from your comfy armchair with no responsibility for a company, employees and all that.

What you call "shamefully cower in fear" is simply risk management - the only sane way to run a company. And since I'm simply not in the position of the one who called that shot (and neither are you) and don't know all the facts, tribulations and and strings attached (and neither do you), I don't presume to pass judgment on it.
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toxicTom: Maybe GOG get's blocked in China, barring them from a market of millions of potential customers, ,
So what, there are enough potential customers outside of China. Yeah, maybe it would cost them some profit, but I don't see why one should respect their stance, you're really trying too hard with this "omg, if they offended Xi Jinping, their children would starve!" line. It's just beneath contempt if you let yourself be dictated to like that by a one-party dictatorship, all the more so since the "offensive" content had been removed from the game.
Ok, it's probably not surprising, Gog is hardly alone with such behaviour. But then they can keep their "We're different, we've got principles" to themselves, because it's laughable.
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toxicTom: Also I think you would argue differently if you were the guy who got told "we lost the Chinese market because of your decision, well done, pack your stuff".
Well, if the Chinese market is only accessible by pandering to the narcissism of the unelected leader of a one-party dictatorship, maybe it shouldn't be worth pursuing.
I'm not even a "China hawk", I don't think China is the worst country in the world or that a new Cold war with them is a good idea. But neither do I think that the CCP should be able to dictate globally which games one is able to buy. And Gog actually pretending their stance is pro-consumer is just too much to take.
Post edited January 06, 2021 by morolf
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XYCat: Delete your account, otherwise you're not boycotting enough.
Why delete when you could sell your account (which is technically against the TOS).

Or you could do what I plan to do, join the boycott and not give anymore money to GOG and actually start downloading and playing the damn games I have bought during the years and never tried or even downloaded majority of them.

I asked for refunds for my last two purchases, ain't much, but it is a protest. Maybe GOG listens, or maybe they are just after the Chinese market now days (technically GOG is illegal in China, so I don't know why they bother, but I suppose it is very easy to ignore all sorts of technicalities).

Edit: and as another small form of boycott against GOG, I have unfollowed GOG on Twitter & Youtube and unsubscribed from their newsletters and RSS feeds.
Post edited January 06, 2021 by Leevi
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morolf: It's somewhat exaggerated for effect, but I don't see how it misrepresents your arguments. I mean, come on, you're even defending Gog's behaviour on Devotion as if they had literally no other choice, because otherwise their employees would suffer. That's really not far from "But think of the children!".
I simply think it was a tough call to make, and their "we release it" "or not, sorry" stumbling around with the stupid "many gamers" excuse just shows that somewhere in GOG HQ shit hit fans...

Devotion would have been an important game for GOG, it got (afaik) several awards, it's well beloved in China (except for with the Xinnieh fans) which is probably why they probably announced it on Weibo. I don't know how well known it is in the West (I only learned about it from the "scandal"), but Steam reviews before the Chinese review bombing must have been raving.

So canceling the release of a very good, award-winning game as a GOG exclusive must have had rather pressing reasons, most of which we probably don't know about since GOG won't share their "big picture". Somebody made that decision, and I don't envy them. And anyone who ever has held responsibility for a company, employees and the likes and had to make a "damn if you do, damn if you don't" decision for which their are held accountable can probably relate.
I brought up families, because that is something a least a few people can relate to - will you "do the right thing" if that means losing your employment that feeds your wife and kids? Most people won't, that why hierarchies work, why wars can be fought, why corps can walk over thousands and millions of human lives without much resistance.

Speaking for myself, ever since I have a family to care for, I've become a lot less rebellious. That's maybe kind of sad, but responsibility means picking your battles in a way that the potential good outweighs the risk of harm done by a great deal. And family, co-workers are a lot closer to me than other things.
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morolf: Well, if the Chinese market is only accessible by pandering to the narcissism of the unelected leader of a one-party dictatorship, maybe it shouldn't be worth pursuing.
I'm not even a "China hawk", I don't think China is the worst country in the world or that a new Cold war with them is a good idea. But neither do I think that the CCP should be able to dictate globally which games one is able to buy. And Gog actually pretending their stance is pro-consumer is just too much to take.
Their current leader is clearly not as capable (for various reasons, ego being one of them) as his predecessor which is quite unfortunate.

Either way, I'm not convinced Western-style democracy would work well for them (different culture), but we are talking about roughly 1 billion people with the amount of geniuses among their rank that this shear number implies.

We are witnessing an increasing flow of Chinese contributors in open-source projects (ex: VueJs). So...

I believe that despite the best efforts of their current leader and their detractors abroad, they will gradually integrate with the rest of the world. Its a matter of time.

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WinterSnowfall: For whatever's worth, you can count me here as well.

I've always said we, as consumers in a market economy, can influence things only by where/how we choose to spend our money.
Personally, I put more stock in direct democracy, but good luck with that.
Post edited January 06, 2021 by Magnitus
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morolf: It's somewhat exaggerated for effect, but I don't see how it misrepresents your arguments. I mean, come on, you're even defending Gog's behaviour on Devotion as if they had literally no other choice, because otherwise their employees would suffer. That's really not far from "But think of the children!".
There is a difference between understanding and defending, you have China that is one of the fastest growing market as far as PC games are concerned, if not the fastest growing, with hundreds million of potential customers, you have all your major competitor investing heavily in this market, you have Gwent that is pretty popular over and is distributed officially, you have Cyberpunk that, at least at one time, had the majority of it's pre-order taking place in China and for which CDPR invested to have it fully dubbed in Chinese.

And you expect CDP risking losing / negatively impacting all of that for an Indy game that, before the whole controversy, only a minority of peoples heard about it ?

Yes having principle is nice, but when those principle won't change anything in the grand scheme of things but will result in your company potentially losing millions in current and future business, it's not an easy decision to make and to justify, not only in front of your shareholders but also in front of your employees.

Yes personally I think that the way they handled that was very bad, announcing the game, backpedaling with their tail between their legs two hours later (it's a dick move toward the devs, and shooting yourself in the foot from a PR point of view), but at the end of the day I understand why they did it.
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toxicTom:
I find the notion that Gog's existence is endangered if they lose access to the China market rather fanciful tbh, even if it's an important market, it's hardly their main business; imo it's just about hopes for even more profit and future expansion.
I think it would have been acceptable if they had offered to region-lock Devotion for mainland China. Or if they really didn't want to publish it, they could at least have been honest and said "We don't want to get involved in the political controversy around this game". That would undoubtedly have generated criticism as well, but not nearly as much as this bs "We've listened to gamers" and subsequent total silence, which just indicates to me they think their customers are mindless consumers who'll accept anything.
But obviously we've got different perspectives on this issue, so we'll just have to agree to disagree.
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morolf: I find the notion that Gog's existence is endangered if they lose access to the China market rather fanciful tbh, even if it's an important market, it's hardly their main business; imo it's just about hopes for even more profit and future expansion.
I don't actually think GOG's existence depends on the Chinese market. It's simply a huge and important market. Getting cut of from it would be a heavy blow for the future. The risk losing potential millions of customers over a single game, just because "it's the right thing to do"? I don't think the shareholders would agree to that...

Another thing is that GOG has one big advantage on the Chinese market right now: And it's their own USP: DRM-free. For Chinese customers it's the safest bet, because even if GOG gets blacklisted in China, as long as they have their backups, they can still play their games.
Of course I suspect GOG is not really able to play that card right... their PR is bad to nonexistant, and they have to tread lightly there with being "unlicensed" and all.

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morolf: I think it would have been acceptable if they had offered to region-lock Devotion for mainland China.
I guess that could have worked if they had kept silent about it. But announcing the game on Weibo... an understandable blunder, since the game has many fans in "mainland". But that maneuvered them in the spotlight of the Xinnieh followers... It's a borked situation.

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morolf: Or if they really didn't want to publish it, they could at least have been honest and said "We don't want to get involved in the political controversy around this game". That would undoubtedly have generated criticism as well, but not nearly as much as this bs "We've listened to gamers" and subsequent total silence, which just indicates to me they think their customers are mindless consumers who'll accept anything.
I sometimes think no PR is better than GOG PR... I'm pretty sure GOG are very aware of their customers being a (tiny) bit less mindless than the usual... why else care about DRM-free?
The radio silence I blame on simple helplessness/awkwardness, the situation exploded in their face, CP2077 release went shit, Corona pandemic, lockdowns, home office... and actually I can't think of much they could do or say now to fix this, and not make it worse. So I guess they'll stay in the bunker and weather it out.

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morolf: But obviously we've got different perspectives on this issue, so we'll just have to agree to disagree.
Yeah, I guess. :-)
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morolf: [...]
I think it would have been acceptable if they had offered to region-lock Devotion for mainland China.
[...]
No, it would not help at all - this is a very different culture. This is not about censoring, as with Germany or Australia, which do not care as long as it is not sold within their borders. If gOg was only region blocking it, they would still be selling it, which would be seen as approving of / endorsing the game / the publisher. And as it is the game itsef and the publisher which is the problem, this would not change oppinion an iota, but rather make it look sneaky and seen as trying to cheat / trick the Chineese market. This is about loosng face, and how to regain it in that market. Same reason why it is not region blocked on for example Steam. Like this outlook or not, but if you touch the offending product in any shape or form, then you are contaminated. If gOg wanted to keep the Chineese market, this was the best (and possibly only) option they had - to distance themselves from the product completely.
Post edited January 06, 2021 by amok
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amok:
Which basically means China gets a global (!) veto on the selling of games deemed "offensive" to China's one-party system.
I just don't agree that this should in any way be considered acceptable. To me it's somewhat similar to Islamic fanatics trying to prevent Mohammed caricatures. It's a sign of weakness to submit to such intimidation and only invites future demands.
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amok: No, it would not help at all - this is a very different culture. This is not about censoring, as with Germany or Australia, which do not care as long as it is not sold within their borders. If gOg was only region blocking it, they would still be selling it, which would be seen as approving of / endorsing the game / the publisher. And as it is the game itsef and the publisher which is the problem, this would not change oppinion an iota, but rather make it look sneaky and seen as trying to cheat / trick the Chineese market. This is about loosng face, and how to regain it in that market. Same reason why it is not region blocked on for example Steam. Like this oullok or not, but if you touch the offending product in any shape or form, then you are contaminated. If gOg wanted to keep the Chineese market, this was the best (and possibly only) option they had - to distance themselves from the product completely.
Thanks, that's pretty insightful. I also thought along those lines, but I couldn't put it in words properly.

Also while China is important for GOG, GOG is as important to China as a fleck of dust on the carpet. And they love to make an example of a "Western" company on occasion. True to Stalin: "Punish one, educate a hundred".
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amok:
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morolf: Which basically means China gets a global (!) veto on the selling of games deemed "offensive" to China's one-party system.
I just don't agree that this should in any way be considered acceptable. To me it's somewhat similar to Islamic fanatics trying to prevent Mohammed caricatures. It's a sign of weakness to submit to such intimidation and only invites future demands.
not quite, as there is not really any enforcement here. gOg would not risk getting a car bomb, the staff getting kidnped and decapitated, beaten up on the street or similar if they released the game. They would just risk losing the Chinese market. And that was, and still is, an option for gOg. It is still their choice, they can sell the game any day they want.

But as said before - gOg is a buisness, not a moral endavor
Post edited January 06, 2021 by amok