I have been a fan for many, many years. The first game of yours I played was CM2 Spanish Leagues - and yes, I still have the game. Since then, I have bought every new version of the manager series, convinced colleagues and friends to buy your games and have done so proudly. I have even been a beta-tester for you on CM4 and even though it was unpaid and none of us beta-testers got as much as a free game as a token of your appreciation for our efforts, I have carried on being an devoted fan.
Once, a few years ago, I bought a copy of one of your games on-line, but regretted it shortly thereafter and have since then only bought physical copies - there is just something special about stuff you can hold in your hands, it is nice having a shiny, new CD to insert into your computer and listen to the disc being spun around while the game is getting installed. I just love it. Maybe I am a bit of a dinosaur in that way, but that's who I am.
In the old days, you could buy the game at your local software-pusher, carry it home in one of those nice little, shiny bags, unwrap it and install it. And then just play the game, have fun, enjoy yourself. But not anymore. No, that is no longer an option. When I bought FM 2012, I was forced to register on-line through a service, I have carefully tried to avoid since I bought that one game on-line years ago. There was no choice: Yes, you have bought the game, but no, you are not allowed to play it -because STEAM is now part of the deal.
So, to play the game I already bought, I had no choice but to register it with STEAM. Why is that? Do you think we, your loyal fan base, are cheating you out of something? Was it too complicated to create a working update-service within the game? Do you get paid by STEAM to force us to use their service? I don't know, but I do know what I suspect to be the truth.
Nevermind, I digress, back to the point. My son, who is 10 years old, is now also playing your game. He loves it and spends hours trying to beat his dad or simply become the best manager ever. We have lots of fun with the game, which sparks interesting discussions about football, tactics, technique, stars of the past and much more. He is also becoming a hard core little fan of the game, which is fine by me.
The problem I am now facing is your choice of forcing STEAM on me. Last week I was going to start up a save game I have been playing for the last 4 months (the last month-and-a-half on a new computer) when STEAM suddenly chose to deny me access to the game. I got a bit annoyed, tried again, but no such luck. Apparently, STEAM has now found out, that I have tried to log on to their service from a new computer - so, they of course locked my account. Guess what? I now can't play FM anymore, because STEAM says I am not allowed to. I mean, why shouldn't they? After all, you guys at SIGames have given them the power to do so.
Honestly, I got a bit mad and disappointed. Not only because of STEAM, but also you guys at SI. I had no choice as to get in touch with STEAM to get my account re-opened. Easy peasy, right? No, absolutely not. Let me just tell you, that 2 years ago, I moved out my old apartment. Because of that, the email account provided to me there was closed. No biggie, I thought, I'll just change my info as I discover where I actually need to do so. Guess what - I later found out, that my old email-address was used more than 300 different places. Personally, I was surprised, that is a LOT.
Sadly, just last week I found out that the same address was used for my STEAM account some years ago. Sadly, as STEAM said it had sent a new code for me to be allowed back into my account, which would then enable me to play FM. I had no choice, I started up a support case on the STEAM website, telling them I no longer have access to that email account and could they please help me.
A measily 26 hours later, they replied. I was told to check my LAN-settings and then get back to them if that didn't solve the issue. LAN-settings? Hmmm... I checked, made no difference which I reported to the support case, while repeating my problem: STEAM software needs for me to put in a code, which has been sent to an email account that no longer exists.
A short wait (51 hours) later, a supporter told me, that all I needed to do was to log in to STEAM using the code sent to my email (yes, the account that no longer exists). Oh, and by the way, if I had not received the code, I should check my account (yes, the account that no longer exists) to see if it had been caught in the spam-filter.
Okay, I got mad and kind of lost it! I wrote back to them that the email address originally registered didn't exist anymore, and yes, there was a bit of profanity involved. The nice supporter then replied, that the easiest way to get around me not receiving the email with the code enabling me to log into STEAM was to log into STEAM and change the email address registered in the system. This was another 28 hours later.
What to do? I wrote back and "kindly" described the problem again. I now have to prove to them that I have bought the game, or they won't help me get my account up and running again. I need to prove that I am in possession of a game, they didn't sell to me, before they will allow me to play it. Oh, and we are a few hours short of a full week since STEAM locked my account.
Dear SI, could you pretty please with sugar on top consider not to force STEAM down my throat? I am not the only one having problems with them, which is evident when you read about their service around the Internet
I have bought my game IRL. You at SIGames have gotten your money. Why do you then give the power to deny me access to a game I have paid for in full to some *insert profanity* people who know not what they are doing?
Should you choose to force STEAM on me again for your next release, I don't think I'll buy your game. Paying you to let someone else control my game just seems wrong.