Hey, kids! You know what you call software that goes out on your computer and does stuff without your knowledge, permission, or … let’s be honest … benefit?
Oh, of course, now it’s not “malware” because you gave it permission when you installed the software. Yeah, there are a whole bunch of horrible programs out there that will make your computer run like a 386 and inform every marketer in the world of your bathroom habits that use the same excuse.
The thing is… well, maybe young gamers really are that ignorant, but those who understand the world recognize that games frequently have an online component, even if it’s just updating a leaderboard. No problem. But we also recognize which components are critical to us playing a game. And that’s really limited to playing simultaneously with friends on the Internet, or playing in shared world. Oh, there are minor conveniences or nifty items, like having our saved game in the cloud so we can resume from a different computer (something relatively few gamers actually use, but I occasionally do), or leaderboards, or having the game directly announce news and updates for us. But we recognize that these are not critical to playing the game.
We also recognize that this is nothing more than a control grab by game manufacturers, an attempt to force us to their door so that we can pay for a game like it was a product, but use it only at their discretion as if it was a service. It’s the best of both worlds as a publisher, and the worst of both worlds as a consumer.