Oddworld Founder Says Biggest Problem for the Industry is Net Neutrality

June 25, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Oddworld Inhabitants founder Lorne Lanning says that the biggest problem facing the video games industry is Net Neutrality. Speaking to GII, Lanning said that all of the progress made in the industry over the last few years could be undone by its own apathy towards preserving a free and open internet.

"My biggest concern is what's happening in the White House with what's happening with the FCC and what's happening with the telecom companies trying to basically get more of all of our pie," Lanning said. "Like saying, 'Hey wait a minute, if you walk down our street we want a tollbooth on it. We want to toll the s*** out of you."

Lanning adds that if the industry doesn't start paying attention to this issue, a little piece of that profit pie will be eaten by someone else - namely the telecoms industry. In an industry that is increasingly reliant on the internet to deliver its digital goods and then provide players with a space to play many of these games together or against each other online, ignoring net neutrality will come with a real price.

"That's my biggest concern, that they're going to squeeze that dial, live players are going to find themselves on a taxi meter, and that's why they should be voting and they should be supporting the Electronic Consumers Association and the lobby groups that have been trying to fight this stuff all along. All the gamers, it's going to come back on them if they don't stand up and show that we're going to vote you out of office if you pull this s***. That's not happening enough yet and I think the ECA is actually the one doing the most benefit to try and fight that."

Lanning says that consumers have several options too, but the mostly likely will to be "hurt first." What he means is that consumers will eventually be faced with things like ISP data caps, or face simply paying more for products and services that rely on having an internet connection.

Lanning has a lot more to say on the subject here.

[Full disclosure: GamePolitics is an ECA publication.]


Comments

Re: Oddworld Founder Says Biggest Problem for the Industry ...

I imagine some of the bigger publishers are fine with it since it MIGHT hurt piracy just a little.

Re: Oddworld Founder Says Biggest Problem for the Industry ...

Nah. Piracy won't really be effected. 

However, larger companies would be in favor of a loss of net neutrality because it means that smaller competition would be at a disadvantage. 

Think about it. Let's say EA wants to deal Steam a major blow. So EA contacts Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, Verizon and AT&T and works out a deal that puts Origin on the fast lane and relegating Steam to the slow lane. Then EA can advertise that their service is so much faster than Steam's. 

Then we have MMOs. Activision/Blizzard could work out a similar deal to make WoW or whatever follows it, faster than smaller MMOs like Guild Wars. 

I could go on and on. 

 
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