LOL, this actually did happen to me a couple of years ago, in regard to The Complete Carriers At War game, which is still being sold through SSG's US website.
What happened was, I decided to once again play the game, after many years. So I got the disk, but couldn't locate the manual. Since I had bought the game several years earlier, I couldn't remember whether there was a manual, whether it was on the CD or what. I explored the CD and couldn't locate the manual, but I've had trouble finding manuals on CD's before, so that didn't necessarily prove anything to me at the time.
Having had the US SSG website bookmarked, I wrote a quick email, asking them whether the game shipped with a manual, etc. I didn't ask them for a manual, I just wanted to know whether there was one, or whether it was on the CD somewhere, or what. Of course, I included the info that I had bought the game several years earlier.
I also left a return phone number. I don't really know why I did that, because I usually don't, but I think it was because I figured that if I left my phone number, they would know I was sincere (and not a pirate).
I think it was within the hour when the "gentleman" that runs that website called me back. It seems he had himself convinced that I was a pirate, looking for a free game manual.
"Oh, so you bought the game several years ago, did you?, Hehehe..."
"Oh, so now you can't find your manual, eh...?"
I did everything I could over the phone to convince this guy that I had a legitimate CD in my hands. He wouldn't buy it. Must have talked to him for over 5 minutes.
After that call, I did another search and found the manual. Two things made it a little hard to locate. First, it wasn't with my other game manuals, but instead was in my nightstand drawer, or a nearby shelf, because I must've started reading it in bed or something sometime earlier. Second, it wasn't a retail manual, but a homemade printed one, which made it look entirely different from what I had expected to find.
I sent an email to the guy at the US SSG website, telling him what happened, but I still doubt he believed me, as he never answered.
I also wrote an email to the SSG guys in Australia, telling them what happened.
What irked me about this experience is not so much the fact that the guy thought I was a crook, but that he would go to such lengths just to irritate me. After all, would a pirate be dumb enough to leave his home phone number? Secondly, once this guy had himself convinced I was a pirate, there was absolutely nothing that could sway that opinion. No amount of sincerity had any effect.
Of course, I never got a reply from the SSG people in Australia either.
This taught me something about the mentality of (some?) game developers. They are fixated on this pirating issue.
SSG will have to try a little bit harder to sell me games, partly due to this experience. Selling me Battlefront and then not supporting it and then releasing a newer title (The Disaster with the Donuts, or some such) to take it's place is not a step in the right direction.
EDIT: Another thing that made this experience extraordinary and another reason it pissed me off, is that it was all over a game that was/is well over 10 years old. The game engine is 20 years old.
One would think that maybe, just maybe, these people (SSG) would have enough sense to think that: Hey, maybe this guy really is a legitimate customer and maybe it wouldn't be prudent to assume he's a pirate, since he might get angry and not buy any of our newer games.
Sometimes I wonder who's dumber, the pirates or the developers.
< Message edited by BoredStiff -- 11/10/2008 3:15:39 PM >
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