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June 3rd, 2013, 15:44
Originally Posted by SleepingDog View Post
I also wonder whether these "always on-line" games allow the passing of information back to the publisher and developer on how the game is actually played by the average gamer. Perhaps I am being paranoid. Steam has the achievements for most (all?) games and I have wondered if this provides information on how the game is played. I know that for some games it provides a source of re-playability or challenges like with "And Yet It Moves" but still could the information be a source of revenue? Sales and Marketing in any company loves information and can't get enough to help them understand their market.
Not all Steam games have achievements. I have some flight sims (DCS) and they don't even report back how long I played, let alone have achievements. OTOH I believe Jeff Vogel complained about having to force them into his games as part of the deal with Steam.

But yeah, metrics and telemetry are there - you're not being paranoid. For ME Bio did public presentations showing who chose Geth over Quarian, who played Femshep etc. And god only knows what info they didn't share. I think 'design by telemetry' is really one of the major forces pushing publishers to make lowest common denominator output. In theory you can shut telemetry off, but unless you inspect every packet Steam is sending out (and can decrypt it) then I'd say it's fairly likely that a lot of your gaming habits are now part of someone's spreadsheet (and they know you're an evil person for shooting Mordin).
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