I see red skies with gaming in the clouds

I got home from an out of town trip all psyched up for the release of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. I had participated in the beta, having bought into the Limited Edition version. I come home, fire up Steam and was greeted with the hassles of an endless “Updating Steam” notification which I left on overnight. The next day, it was still stuck. Having followed troubleshooting tips to delete a few files and eventually uninstall the damn thing, it finally worked on the 3rd try, 48 hours later. Finally, I was able to download Bad Company 2. I left the computer overnight, woke up and was ready to play. I ran BC2 and logged into my EA Account (a requirement for this game). This is where speed bump number two surfaced: Failed to connect to EA Online.

It’s been two days since I successfully installed BC2 and I was only able to successfully play two multiplayer games. Search the Internet for “Failed to connect to EA Online” and you’ll be greeted with a lot of disgruntled gamers and EA apologizing and “fixing” the problem. Fixing is fine, but there’s a reason why I paid for the Limited Edition.

It’s not just with Steam. The same thing happened with PSN encountering connectivity errors across the board. Ugh and what more with the new DRM checking for Assassin’s Creed II. Big debate here. It’s DRM that’s killing the legitimate guys and rewarding the pirates.

When I look back at my “gaming corner” with boxes of limited edition stuff and regular retail boxes, I’ve noticed how the items have diminished for collections since 2009 as I started buying games through disc-less distribution methods like Steam. There was a time early this year when I got hacked by a trojan and my Steam credentials were stolen and changed. It took me the better part of 2 days to get help from Valve. The good? Well, less clutter on my desk for boxes. And the environment gets saved. Whee.

We’re running our games fine 90% of the time. It’s seamless and overall, a great experience. But there are just times when I want to kick these servers in their digital arses when they fail. It isn’t about faulty technology. It’s about how it feels like such a big downgrade when we can’t play single player when a server is down.

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