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EU Commission proposal wants two-year guarantee for games

European game developers are up in arms about a recent EU Commission proposal that, if approved, would require devs to abide by the EU Sales and Guarantees Directive, a rule that mandates "a minimum 2-year guarantee on tangible movable consumer goods." While this guarantee sounds great for consumers, Dr. Richard Wilson, head of game developer advocacy group Tiga, is worried it may "stifle new ideas as [developers] could end up just playing it safe."

Developers' qualms go deeper than that, however -- they're worried that consumers might abuse a two-year guarantee on video games by returning the game with a complaint about a bug or glitch that doesn't actually exist. Furthermore, Business Software Alliance director Francisco Mingorance argues digital content isn't tangible, and shouldn't follow the "same liability rules as toasters." He also pointed out digital content isn't technically sold to consumers -- it is licensed for private use.

Joystiq's Law of the Game writer (and radical lawyer) Mark Methenitis threw in his two cents, explaining that patches and updates have ended the age of game-ruining glitches, and that a potentially exploitable two-year guarantee on games is unnecessary. He adds, "if you're unsatisfied with an ongoing pattern of bugs you encounter from a developer's product, you should probably consider whether you want to continue purchasing that developer's products, thereby letting the market correct the problem."

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