We have decided to start a boycott campaign against Microsoft’s Games for Windows Live service because it’s violating our rights as consumers. Microsoft is pushing hard to make online PC gaming exactly like the Xbox’s.

They want us to pay additional costs to subscribe to their Live service, and pay more monthly fees for a gold account, or to use the barely/non-working Silver account. Even if a gamer surrenders his soul for the attached fees to Microsoft; he may not even be able to purchase a subscription because the Live service is only available in 26 countries out of the 196 countries.

This means that gamers from 170 countries are currently unable to purchase gold subscriptions even if they want to.These two main issues put the future of online PC gaming at serious risk. This is what convinced us someone needed to start a boycott campaign against the Games for Windows Live service.

This became imminent to preserve online gaming and gamers rights. Of course Microsoft is a multi-millionaire corporation and they probably won’t care about this boycott, but game developers and publishers are more vulnerable to boycotts, and therefore we will target them instead. Sega, Eidos and THQ already signed to bring more Games for Windows – Live titles. The clock is ticking, now it’s the time to stop it. Say NO to LIVE.

Online PC Gaming was always free!

From the early days of gaming, playing online was always free. There were several exceptions, like World of Warcraft but that doesn’t justify monthly fees. We buy games; we pay for the entire game! Both single player and multiplayer. Asking for additional fees is simply “milking”, and it is unacceptable.

Paying $50-$60 yearly just to access Live service is simply unfair and unjustified.PC games are expensive enough, some of them have in-game ads, and charging additional $50 for a yearly subscription is a rip off! This is 100% additional fees, since most of the latest PC games cost around $50. If we already paid for the game, why the hell should we pay this extra $50 bucks? This is not Xbox here, this is PC baby don’t try to milk us, we are not a bunch of cows.

When we purchase a game, we feel that we should purchase the ability to play this game when and where we like, not just rent the use of parts of it. We already pay enough for the Windows operation system, and if Microsoft implements this Live service then it should be part of it. If Microsoft wants to increase its yearly revenue, they shouldn’t do it on our backs by introducing dirty services. We refuse to continue to pay additional fees, especially monthly fees. Online PC Gaming was always free and it should remain free. Say NO to LIVE.

Available Only in 26 Countries? What?!?

Officially, there are 196 countries on planet earth. But according to Microsoft’s Games for Windows – Live service, there are only 26 countries. Even if we are agreed to be milked like cows, most of us are not even able or allowed to subscribe to the Live service. Yes, that’s true! The Live service is currently available only to 26 countries, putting most of the world population from 170 countries in the dark.So basically, If your country doesn’t appear in the following list:

United States, United Kingdom, Taiwan, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, South Korea, Singapore, Portugal, Norway, New Zealand, Netherlands, Mexico, Japan, Italy, Ireland, India, Hong Kong, Germany, France, Finland, Denmark, Canada, Belgium, Austria and Australia.There will be no Games for Windows – Live online gaming for you!If Microsoft’s Live service isn’t available internationally or at least to the leading 100 countries, then it should be pulled!

The Live service is not widely available and it’s immature so why should we be forced to use it? Microsoft is discriminating against consumer’s rights by leaving these 170 countries in the dark. This is an outrageous disgrace! Say NO to LIVE.

The Straw that Broke the Camel’s Back

In the last three years, the treatment consumers receive from publishers and developers has gone from bad to worse. For example, some companies have added in-game advertisements without lowering the game’s price tag! Why do we have to pay full price to see ads?Another example is abusive DRM. Many Companies are using anti-piracy protections such as SecuROM, Safe Disk and many more. Sadly, around to 99% of times, these protections are totally useless against pirates, and they get around them easily.

All this anti-piracy software is doing is abusing/harassing the legitimate customers by its instability, bugs, bogus licensing issues and many other issues. So in conclusion, pirates are playing games, while legitimate consumers have to take shit from some buggy DRM tools. If it isn’t enough, today’s games are buggier then ever due to corporate bureaucracy and stupid deadlines by publishers.In addition, game developers/publishers are making nasty deals with hardware manufacturers to promote their products.

So basically, the treatment consumers receive in these days is simply TERRIBLE, and yet they want us to pay additional fees for nothing? They should be paying us for ignoring our rights as consumers, and for making our systems unstable with their ineffective and buggy anti-piracy measures. They should be renaming their industry from gaming industry to farming industry, this is totally unacceptable. Say NO to LIVE.

LAN Parties and Dedicated servers

Due to the Live branding, many titles will not offer LAN support and dedicated servers. This may affect the professional gaming community, tournaments and general gaming at all. Microsoft thinks that Xbox is a PC, and they don’t respect the professional community. Not only these lack of features will cause a lot of problems, their Live service interface is bloated, poor and unprofessionaly coded. Microsoft’s Live service is simply immature and totally unfriendly to PC gamers. Don’t let them force us to use their immature service. Say NO to LIVE.

Want to play games? Buy Windows Vista!

If all these reasons above are still not convincing, Microsoft is using Games for Windows – Live service to promote Windows Vista. Some upcoming titles and even existing titles such as Halo 2 and Shadowrun require Windows Vista to run. The famous pirate group Razor1911 has proved that Microsoft is not speaking the truth, and these titles can technically run on Windows XP. The reason they don’t, is because Microsoft is using this approach to forcibly promote Windows Vista sales. If these titles can run on Windows XP smoothly, and don’t require DirectX10 – why are they forcing us to buy Windows Vista? Don’t let them milk us! Say NO to LIVE.

So what can be done to stop this?

Boycott Games for Windows – Live titles, developers and their publishers. Don’t let Microsoft and their partners milk us all. Spread the word! Tell your friends, post on forums and let everyone know about Microsoft’s plans. Hit them where it hurts! Punish them with your wallets. Fight for the future of online gaming and fight for all the gamers from the 170 countries that can’t use this service anyway. Show them that you’re unhappy about it on our forum, so we can confront publishers. Don’t let Microsoft and their partners make fun of all of us. Say NO to LIVE.

List of Games to Boycott

• Shadowrun
• Halo 2
• Viva Pi?ata
• Gears of War
• Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights
• Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
• Universe at War: Earth Assault
• The Club
• Hour of Victory
• Uno

List of Developers and Publishers to Boycott
• Bungie Studios
• Paradigm Entertainment
• Carbonated Games
• Epic Games
• N-Fusion Interactive
• Bizarre Creations
• Petroglyph
• Rare Ltd
• Sega
• Eidos

THQWebmasters and Journalists, you can help as well by linking to this page, and telling your readers about it. Game Reviewers, punish these Live-supported titles in reviews, and don’t give them any score for multiplayer. We call upon all PC gaming sites to join the battle and help us. Help us to promote this campaign against them, so not only the rich can play games online. Don’t ignore this issue and cry later, join the battle now. Say NO to LIVE.