Online games news Tedious Retro Gamer, 13-07-2022
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No, I’m not talking about COVID, although that is spreading as well as we speak. Do you remember the old rule "if it’s free you’re not the client, you’re the product"? Well, we have to come up with new one...
The saying "if it’s free you’re not the client, you’re the product" was coined to show the tendency of companies to offer free service or free products, especially online, which meant to cover that while you use this free gift the company is f.e. mining data of you behind your back or use the data you have provided to reach their other goals.
But those sneaky tactics are clearly over when you read news like the latest BMW idea - they plan to sell monthly subscription to access the heating in your seats. You know, the seats in your car. That you bought. For tons of money. It’s clearly inspired by the recent events in gaming industry, where you can buy a game, but you don’t actually own it (yes, Ubisoft, I’m looking at you).
I mean it’s understandable that they want to increase their profit, clearly BMW is struggling for money (their last year profit was just slightly above 111 billion Euro), but this is becoming ridiculous. In case of the games the companies could argue that they do not sell you a physical copy of a product, so in a way it is a service, where you are granted access to that service. I don’t mean I understand that argument, all I’m saying is they could.
But in case of a car? A two-tons of metal and plastic bundle can hardly be called a service... Especially if you actually paid the full price for it. And you have to maintain it yourself. And you have to fill the tank yourself. And you have to pay insurance yourself. Can you in your wildest dreams imagine something like that to be a service? I mean if you rent a car the rental company covers insurance, maintenance, storage, etc.
Of course BMW argues that it will apply only to a luxury accessories of the car, which not all drivers would like to pay extra for, but I think the word that was missing in that statement is the word "yet". Do you remember when gaming companies were arguing that lootboxes are just a bit of fun for small minority of players that are willing to participate? How this ended for the industry?
Well, BMW created a precedent, it’s up to people not to take part in this madness, so... of course it’s gonna work for BMW. Just like in gaming, all you had to do to stop this trend is not paying for "services" instead of buying games, so of course there are millions of idiots around the world, who pay for the services, but then they publish angry tweets that they are not happy with it. And since companies like BMW are motivated only by money... we are truly screwed.
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