Destiny - Guardians... are you with us? (Bungie/Activision - Enough is Enough)
This petition made change with 325 supporters!
Greetings, fellow guardians.
I write today to call you to action. This situation with Bungie and Activision has gone on long enough, and I believe that as a community we need to act.
That is why I am calling on each and every one of you who still has Destiny but no longer plays it to send it back to Bungie.
Why? Well, first off, I believe that the situation Bungie has created is unique and therefore demands a unique response. Now, I could go on about everything from how this is not the game that we were led to believe it would be, right up to how Bungie's business practices seem to be utterly abominable. All of that would be true and relevant, but there is one singular reason for my own outrage - the game that was sold at launch has been eviscerated so drastically that it is now nothing more than a very expensive demo for the actual game.
I don't know about you, but as it stands now, the only comparable games to my copy of Destiny that I have played and owned over the years, are ones that have broken in some way. While I don't believe that the industry as a whole is guilty of this kind of disdainful behaviour, I am starting to notice certain companies seeing what they can get away with. Whether it's Bioware and EA stupidly attempting to sell the endings of the Mass Effect trilogy as DLC, or Capcom locking content on their games' discs (effectively making it 'disc-locked content' as opposed to downloadable content), the insatiable desires for profits are getting completely out of control in some areas of the industry. Bungie and Activision's actions are just another step along that road.
I've noticed that some of you are calling for people to boycott Bungie and Activision, and I agree. This was actually the first one of Bungie's games that I've bought and I don't really see how there will be another. Plus, from what I've seen many, many other people agree with you too and are taking the same steps.
However, as I said before this situation is unique and demands a unique response - at least for this day and age. As you probably know, the idea I had is not original. Back in the 80s Atari had so many unsold copies of E.T. that they had to bury them in the desert, but they also had to bury copies that players had sent back to them.
So while I agree that we need to boycott these two companies, I also believe that we need to hold them to account somehow and make an example out of them, so that the rest of the industry think twice before trying to pull the same stunt. My intention is not just to send the game back, but also a letter with it explaining why. In a way, Bungie has misbehaved in a similar way to a child - pushing the boundaries to see what it can get away with. And like a child, the punishment will only be learned if it understands the reason for it.
You may not agree with me, and I look forward to your reasons why, but I do believe that this can help the situation. Hypothetically, if enough people sent in their abandoned and useless copies, Bungie would have no choice but to take notice and then take action that actually makes the game better, and even if you and I are no longer interested in playing it, the experience will improve for those that still do. Meanwhile, the rest of the industry gets a very clear message that selling a product to a customer and then stealing part of it back is NOT okay - even if you can get away with it legally, you still may end up paying a hefty price.
That would be the ideal, but if it ends up that I am one of the only ones that does this, well, I can't just sit here and do nothing. It's not enough for me sit behind a computer screen and just express an opinion when something like this happens - I need to do something about it. Even if I am alone in this action, that's fine by me.
But I do hope you join us in this action. The more of us that do it, the greater the impact we will have.
External forces can help lead a company to change. Regulators create laws and policies (and sometimes enforce them); companies compete with each other (sometimes to the top, sometimes to the bottom); investors, consumers, and the media can all exert pressure. But whatever external forces suggest, the company decides whether and how to internalize those pressures.
Businesses are not people (despite some legal and other opinions to the contrary). They don’t 'make decisions'. They are collections of human beings, rife with competing interests and fluctuating power dynamics. In such a complicated system, who actually drives change?
People need to unite in order to get any type of real change to happen. While just stopping using something, or purchasing something from a company might make a change, or even drive a company out of business; it is only through many people understanding and then taking a firm stand that any change can be made.
But what type of change that is wanted has to be planned and executed so that the company knows exactly why and what needs to be done, in order for them to take notice and want to survive.
While the game does have the elements for fun, and has a sizable player base, we do not think that anyone would like to see the game disappear; just Bungie's and Activision's contrivance, arrogance, their marketing hyperbole and almost diabolical rapaciousness.
We need to let them know that we don't want them out of business, we just want them to change their business practices; and that if they do not change them, then they could end up becoming another 'Atari.'
We need to be not only concise on what changes need to be implemented, but also reasonably fair. We know that they need to make a profit, but they do not have to try to find devious ways to cheat people out of their money, nor use hyperbole to try to get it from them.
Here's what we want you to do.
First, sign this petition and then get the word out to as many like-minded players as you can. The earlier we do this, the better. We believe this can done in a number of ways (various other major game forums, a #SendingDestinyBackToBungie hashtag for Twitter), but one of the best will be to get in contact with Boogie2988, Angry Joe, Jim Sterling, BDobbinsFTW, Overman and similar independent journalists from YouTube and tell them what we're planning to do. I have collated a few contact details you can use to make your voice heard:
Angry Joe – email@example.com
Jim Sterling – firstname.lastname@example.org (also - Jim Sterling, PO Box 5427, Brandon, MS 39047)
BdobbinsFTW – email@example.com
Second, pop the game in an envelope (or a great big box!) and send it back to Bungie (the address is: Bungie, 550 106th Avenue NE, Suite 207, Bellevue, WA 98004-5088) from 1st December 2015 onwards. You could even find a cheap, second-hand, vanilla copy of Destiny at your local game store and send that if you don't have it any more (and if you're willing to do that). If you want to write a letter to Bungie explaining why you sent the game back to them, we encourage you to do so. Plus, it has already been suggested to us that Bungie might repackage your game and try and sell it again. Given everything that's happened, we wouldn't put it past them. One way for you to stop them from doing this is to snap the disc before you send it. You could see it as breaking your addiction. You could see it as a symbolic gesture seeing as they sold you a broken game in the first place, and then continued to break it some more. But it will also mean that they cannot possibly profit from what you have done, and that they will have absolutely no choice but to twiddle their thumbs and figure out what to do with so many broken copies of their broken game.
It has been pointed out that a contact name would probably be required for sending the game back to Bungie. We'd suggest marking the envelope (or box) with 'FAO: Luke Smith'.
If you do choose to write a letter, you can explain your reasons for sending the game back, but also how you want Destiny, Bungie and Activision to change. Here is an example of some ideas we have come up with that you can incorporate as requests in your letter:
1. Stop calling something an 'expansion' when in reality, it is just a revision. Removing previous game options and selections along with 'rehashing' previous content is not an actual expansion.
2. Fix actual bugs that more than one or two people are complaining about, rather than changing something in the game that you do not want people doing while leaving real problems untouched.
3. Start finding a way to put into place the "open world" that was claimed before release, and not the fishbowl areas that have put into place; and keep your clients informed of the progress.
4. Start providing helpful answers to questions about your product when people are having some difficulty with something. Answering trivial questions is not necessary, unless there are multiple inquiries about the same thing.
5. Stop allowing those that are interviewed to be antagonistic and arrogant. If it happens, reprimand them; if they continue, then fire them. Even if they are good at something that deals with the game, there is always someone else that can replace them. If you do not feel that you can do without them for a period, stop allowing them to be interviewed.
6. Start responding to forum members in a more constructive manner - by having a more effective and gratifying communication portal to customers allowing them to at least feel as though they matter - thereby giving both you and the customer a competent and practical way to make better decisions.
It's up to you what requests you want to make of Bungie, but keep in mind that one thing you could stress it to use language that both Bungie and Activision would understand. That is to say that if they do what you ask and incorporate sound business practices and manage Destiny properly, it will actually end up making more money for them than if they carry on the way they are going. It's a no-brainer.
It has also been suggested that sending the broken discs to news outlets and consumer protection agencies could be another option. We can do this too, and it would make an even greater impact because Bungie and Activision would not be able to hide from the truth or put any type of spin on it. So, while the primary destination can be Bungie, there are a few options here. For example, you could send the broken disc in its case to Bungie with a letter, but then also take a photo of the disc, letter and envelope (to show Bungie's address) and send the photo to new outlets/consumer protection agencies via email/post, with the body of the email/letter consisting of the details you will set out in the letter to Bungie. You could always do the opposite – send the broken game to the news outlet/consumer protection agency and the photo to Bungie.
Another great option would be to snap the disc in half, and mail half to Bungie with a note that the other half has been mailed to a gaming news outlet/consumer protection agency as a form of protesting their increasingly anti-consumer business practices. Then you would mail the other half to that gaming news outlet/consumer protection agency with a note explaining why you snapped the disc and where the other half of it went. That way, no matter what, the media and agencies know that Bungie is getting these broken disc halves in the mail - no matter how hard they will try to hide/deny it.
I will provide you with the contact details of some gaming news outlets we could focus on. I have provided direct contacts where I can:
Eurogamer (seem to only have an email address. But Oli Welsh is the editor) – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gamer Network (they own Eurogamer along with a few other game-related sites. Plus, they have a postal address) - Gamer Network, 1 Grand Parade, Brighton, BN2 9QB, UK.
IGN (I managed to find an actual press contact for this one. Her name is Kiersten Slader and her direct email is email@example.com) - 625 2nd Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94107. Phone: 1.415.696.5453.
I was unable to find useful contact details for Kotaku, Gamespot, Giantbomb, etc. If we want to give them a heads up, we may need to get creative – they do have forums. But while posting on their forums about the stand, people also need to inform the media in general: newspapers, television, radio, game magazines and game selling websites – possibly even other developers. All are the main way that information is spread – to us and to everyone. If you feel that you have been disadvantaged or have something worthwhile to tell, consider contacting the media. They may choose to use a journalist to report your story to the rest of the community.
If you still have the game but do not want to get rid of it, or if you do not have a hard copy of the game and would prefer not to purchase it, but you would still like to get involved, a number of people have suggested some great ideas that you can execute with us on December 1st or after. You could:
1) Send Bungie a broken blank disc with your gamertag and the word 'Destiny' scrolled across the jagged edges.
2) Stop playing the game for the day.
3) Just write the physical letter and send that in.
4) Draw a comic of yourself destroying the disc and send that.
5) Call Bungie and Activision and tell them that you do not accept the changes they have made to the EULA statement.
6) Record yourself deleting the game and send the video to Bungie.
As one of our number recently said 'be creative'! You can still take a stand.
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