Online Competitions and International Audience

Discussion in 'Video Games and Technology' started by Gretnablue, May 27, 2014.

  1. Gretnablue

    Gretnablue Well-Known Member

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    If you live in the US, this is something you have probably never thought of, but for everyone else who isn't American. Have you ever been emailed or was browsing one of your favorite game/tv show/comic/novel/movie/web-series where they have a new competition. You, very interested in the competition, enter it, only to discover that it's for US residents only, even though there was no indication of this until you had already wrote in your details.

    A good example is this official Ubisoft/ one for the recent game Watch_Dogs: watchdogs.monsterenergy.com/desktop/
    This is US only, could you tell? Does it say anywhere it's US only? Well yes actually, if you click on the terms and services (which I bet all of you US people did:rolleyes2 ) it's there. You know hidden under the massive, bright Enter here button.

    The worst one for me was when as promotion for Halo Reach, Rooster Teeth and Gamestop did a promotion to write a Red vs. Blue PSA. Nowhere on Rooster Teeth's website did it say it was US only, nor gamestop, only once you wrote up your personal details and on the page to submit your script idea did it say US only, in blue text on a blue background. Luckily I wasn't the only one who was annoyed as most of the comments on Rooster Teeth were complaints. DC, Marvel, Universal, EA, IGN, Bungie and Paramount are really bad at this as well.

    Why is this hard? Just put in clean, clear and big enough to see text saying, "For US Residents Only".

    This is something I really wish companies would stop doing, not only is it just a waste of time and annoys international fans but it feels insulting that the companies don't care enough for their international audience to let them participate. I know smaller companies probably can’t afford to do so, but you think companies like Ubisoft (A Massive French, gaming company) would care/afford to try.

    Does anyone else have this problem? What do you think should be done about it?
     
  2. Boulder

    Boulder Rock Lord

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    That shouldn't be too hard for most of them to do. Perhaps they're hoping to snag a couple of e-mail contacts from individuals who don't read the rules. Afterall, the purpose of these types of contests is to (a) make potential consumers aware of a product and (b) receive contact information in exchange for a small chance to win a prize.

    Laws. There are 51 different laws in the United States regarding contests, lotteries, and sweepstakes (which in turn each have their own unique definitions). In fact, unless Ubisoft went through the trouble and expense of filing this sweepstake with the state, it's not valid in Rhode Island. (Note the rule "Not Valid Where Prohibited by Law.") Most sweepstakes of this kind allow a participant to receive a game piece by mail but require the participant to mail them a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) that the piece will be shipped back in. Since that requires providing the company something of monetary value (a stamp), those
    types of sweepstakes are illegal in the State of Vermont. (The codes are emailed in this sweepstake, so it doesn't violate this law.) That's just two states right there. Imagine trying to keep up with the ever-changing laws in multiple countries!

    There are also US federal laws that come into play regarding international sweepstakes. Plus, let's face it, European courts have not been kind of late to American websites. Add, in nations in which certain products are either banned or embargoed and it's both a hassle and liability to undertake, for what? A few hundred e-mail addresses?