Underage player base - revisited

As much as I’d like to close a trolling topic like this one
https://forums.funcom.com/t/underage-player-base/169190/9

there is an issue here:
FunCom got the good sales and I’m stuck with your underage customers on your unmoderated servers.

Until I start moderating my own server and then it’s my issue. At least in the European Union it is.
Also in the European Union we have witnessed extraditions to Murica for online violation of underaged people. Resulting in 2.5 years imprisonment in a Murican prison.

I do not know the status of Fia’s account, but Fia’s statement is false.
In the European Union any dealing with underaged puts the responsibility on the ones at age of consent. And the Steam requirement “forfeit refund” is inviolation with European law where it comes to sales to underaged.

In terms of business opportunity: I am willing to pay tripple the price if your game is UNRATED .
Because then in my free time I kindly don’t have to deal with bloody kids.

I have no idea what you are talking about.

Sorry.

5 Likes

Why was this thread closed so quickly? There’s not even a word on the reason…
Side note: I’ve played on private server with mature content, the admin made everybody go through discord and sign/acknowledge they were >18. That’s probably the best way to decline legal responsibility if things happen on a server you admin.
Moral respondibility definitely belongs to parents.

2 Likes

How is a child (under 18) buying the game? Any game my children buy goes through the parent’s credit card. So if a parent approved the purchase, how is it Funcom or any other company’s issue. They already labeled the game as M “Mature” for adults and said parent(s) purchased the game anyway. Funcom, Steam or any other company has no way to police where and when a child is playing an adult game. While a parent can lock a child out of adult games or settings but its up to the parent.

Its like a parent allows the child watch a R rated film. Its recommended that its for adults but not a complete requirement.

An “ M ” ( Mature ) rated game is a game rated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) as having “content suitable for persons 17 and older.” This content may include graphic violence and blood, language, and sexual content. In other words, it is the videogame equivalent of an R rated movie.

Please note, my children do not play this game nor I think they would have an interest either. (Granted my children are now 18+ so it wouldn’t matter in either case at the moment)

6 Likes

I ran into a grandfather who was playing with his 6 year old grand son recently. Sorta strange. PS plus give away years ago put alot of tweens out there wiped my server 722 days ago to get rid of them.

1 Like

Yeah neither do mine. I’ve tried, but apparently sword and sorcery is a thing of the past :frowning:

3 Likes

The European Union Justice* Court (CJEU) has repeatedly found that online participation is different from IRL participation in several meaningful ways, which lessens your duty and responsibility. If you for instance were at a private skate park and an “Open Mic Strip Tease” were taking place, you would have a duty and responsibility to note, report and leave the area. You would know, or should know, this is a place frequented by teens and the underage.

Online, you have a much lower duty. Anyone can claim they are underage, to gain favor, mercy or Quarter, and you personally have ZERO duty or responsibility to confirm its truth. You do not possess an Age Detector, and cannot be held responsible for subjecting the underage to Adult Content. Where your responsibility may arise is when they tell you they are underage and you run them off the server. Then they may cause troubles, in the form of claims of “targeted harassment of the underage.” [This is not legal advice, and I am not an attorney. I do business among EU Partners, and broadcast to the EU occasionally.]

The trick is how to deal with kids. If you run them off they’ll simply find another way to get their pleasure, which might end up targeting you. Two things work with kids: they get bored and annoyed easily. Try either or both of those.


* Edit: misplaced Criminal for Justice

3 Likes

If someone falsely declares underage and exposes his account willfully to violation the other party is in offence. It paralyses the server’s community as pretended kid can be behind any rock or tree. Because as has been shown: extradition to the USA may follow.

The underage got their Quarter, what is free of the burden of voting, purchasing and sex. See you in a few years.

I’m not talking about M rating. I pay more for the same game if it got AO.

I find this claim fascinating. Servers are like sewing circles: full of wind and fury, and nothing.

Under what US law has a gamer been (presumably) prosecuted requiring extradition to the USA? Can you give me a citation for any case where a player just happily playing along gets 2.5 years in the joint?

3 Likes

Indeed, there is an issue here. The issue is that you’re unable to deal with other players using a myriad of in-game and out-of-game tools at your disposal. Someone’s breaking the server rules and/or harassing you? Report them. They’re not breaking the rules but you don’t like their behavior? Mute them in-game and avoid them. You want servers with active admins? Lobby Funcom for better official server moderation, just like the rest of us are doing. You want servers with no minors allowed? Find a nice private server or host your own.

Plenty of options, yet you chose to complain about age, like that’s a problem. It isn’t. The problem with toxic kids is the same as with toxic adults: their behavior. Toxic behavior needs to be dealt with regardless of age.

And if they’re not toxic, then they shouldn’t bother you. Each parent should know their kids and be responsible for their upbringing and development.

I don’t let my kid play games he’s not ready for. If I see he consistently can’t handle the game – i.e. toxic people get to him or he starts getting toxic – then he has to stop playing it until he’s mature enough to handle it. He was 13 years old when I let him try Conan Exiles, first supervised and then unsupervised, PVE(-C) servers only. He behaved well, but ended up quitting, because he just didn’t like the game enough. He didn’t bother anyone and nobody bothered him in return.

In short, the issue you have is pretty much a “you” issue.

I will echo @Barnes and ask you to provide the link. I am willing to bet that it’s a case involving online grooming or other form of sexual abuse of a minor, which does not at all relate to anything you’re writing about.

How is that a business opportunity? Did you do a CBA? Hell, did you even think about it for a minute or two?

Let’s say N is the number of customers they can reach now and P is the price of the game. This is a gross oversimplification, because P varies all the time (e.g. discounts and offers, bundles, etc.) and N is not really a number that can be known, only guessed at through extrapolation of past trends. But let’s work with that anyway, for the purposes of this discussion.

Let’s say they change the game rating to “unrated”, ESRB AO, PEGI 18, or what have you. Let’s call N’ the number of customers they can reach after that and P’ the new price. If P’ = 3P, that means that N’ must be at least ⅓N to just maintain their existing revenue. But wait, if P’ = 3P, that will also affect N’, regardless of the game rating, because people will see the price tag and say “Holy shіt, that’s way too expensive for a game!”

For your proposal to be “a business opportunity”, you would have to have a strong argument N’ would have to be much higher than ⅓N, despite the high price tag and the rating that has – whether we like or not – historically been proven to make games nearly unsellable.


In conclusion, learn to deal with your in-game problems the way the rest of us do. And if you can’t, I offer you the same advice I offer my son: don’t play games you can’t handle. Games are meant to be fun, not self-inflicted torture.

2 Likes

I imagine that it’s because it was either a troll post or someone who’s… uh… “not quite okay”. If it’s the former, I’m glad they closed the thread, because I’m really tired of trolling. If it’s the latter, I’m even gladder, because I’ve had run-ins with some truly unhinged people who proceeded to harass me via direct messages long after their incomprehensible rants were shut down. We don’t need that here.

2 Likes

Flagged it, others may have as well. The wording of the original post seemed (to me) like it was just trying to troll/bait people into argument rather than a sensible debate.

What Funcom does to ‘control’ it audience with regards to their age is a simple verification check on the steam page, it’s easy to circumvent by simply providing a false date of birth however.

Short of the user providing a birth certificate that’s pretty much all they can do.

Legally, i’m assuming this absolves them of any responsibility if a child does end up playing their product. Someone who speaks legalise, feel free to chime in here if i’m wrong.

1 Like

Well… in legal terms, age verification like this is a way to shield your company from nearly all age related lawsuits.
You can’t demand every user to send you a copy or a picture of their ID. That would be illegal in some countries.

The only thing, age verification like that does, is that kids learn to subtract 18 from the current year.
Even a legally binding age requirement for buying a game doesn’t help, because kids will find a way to get it anyway. Most parents don’t care about what their kids play.
So, no matter what you try, it will be impossible to stop kids playing games they aren’t supposed to play.

2 Likes

Yeah, it was absolutely a transparent attempt at concern trolling.

thats bait

1 Like

Not to mention highly intrusive and puts your identity at even greater risk of theft than it already is.

At any rate, there is no law, at least in the U.S., preventing kids from purchasing or playing M+ rated games. Nor should there be. The big brick and mortar retailers do make it a policy to check ID, but it’s just store policy. That’s not so simple to do when it comes to digital distributors like Steam though.

Personally though, I think maybe everyone is looking at this all wrong. Legally, there’s not much that can or should be done. Morally, sure, you can say responsibility is on the parents. But I think where we’re falling short is expecting so little from the kids. Some thirteen year old starts mouthing off practicing his sailor talk and causing trouble, people just go “Oh, he’s thirteen years old. Somebody should have told him people under eighteen are not allowed to enter the building.”

Well you know what? No. A thirteen year old should know better than to behave like that in the first place. A six year old should know better. What we need is a little less “kids will be kids” and a little more calling them out on their misbehavior. Yes that’s mostly on the parents, but it’s on everyone else to raise the bar on expected behavior as well.

4 Likes

There is also the thing with buying games online.
You don’t need a credit card to buy games on Steam, PS store or Xbox. You can get prepaid cards in nearly every store for all big online stores.
Also many games that are rated M or 17+ are available on EA play, Uplay and Game Pass. CE is on Game Pass Ultimate. Just get a sub for it and have fun.

This makes it impossible for Developers and Publishers to enforce age limits for games.
To be fair, it is not the responsibility of game developers to check the age of their players. Thats what laws and parents are for.
You can’t make a developer responsible for having kids play their “adult only” game.

4 Likes

Here’s what I do: you got a beard on either side of your body or you’re banned.
My frame of reference is a pub. Fancy to estimate what people spend in a pub during a year?

People actually pay, enough for server including proper licensing. Microsoft rarely does free weekends. We could probably negotiate a cheaper contract. But we don’t, because with the excess money we already can mod out issues.

Then why this thread? Because I’d like to grant you a part of this money, and myself a greater playerbase.

Excellent! You already have your own set of rules for your own private server, so that’s that :slight_smile:

Funny, my frame of reference is a videogame. And you know what kind of games encourage players to spend money on them in the same way they spend money in a pub? Games with loot boxes and microtransactions. Pay-to-win games. In short, everything that the majority of players don’t want in Conan Exiles.

There you go with the unsubstantiated claim that somehow, contrary to every other statistic out there, Conan Exiles would somehow have a greater playerbase with an adult-only rating.

Please, share your master plan with the rest of us.

@CodeMage ge, you know it was all underage people who stormed the U.S. capitol.[sarcasm] Adults would never Rage out like that!

1 Like