As 2011 becomes 2012, millions of gamers will look upon the year that was and remember all the good and the bad that occurred. While some pretty controversial events took place during 2011 — like the PSN Network Outage — they will pale in comparison to the developments that will take place with SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) in 2012.
As gamers begin to learn about SOPA, and which organizations support the act, some big names have begun to repeal their support for fear of a sizeable fan backlash. Take for example GoDaddy who lost thousands of domain holders because of their support of SOPA and have since changed their stance.
Another set of companies closer to gamers’ hearts that have backed off are Sony, EA, and Nintendo, some of the biggest publishers in video games. Although each has, separately, changed their stance on SOPA they still support the act in one fashion or another.
See, each is a member of various larger groups, including the ESA (Entertainment Software Association), which still supports SOPA, but as an umbrella organization. It might be a matter of time before those companies recommend their larger groups also denounce SOPA, but as of right now EA, Sony, and Nintendo still support SOPA, just not overtly.
Sony’s decision to change their stance may have come after a member of Anonymous, the hacking group that has been known to cause quite a headache for Sony, said they would be forced to act if Sony didn’t change their mind. Or maybe they fear an ever greater backlash than GoDaddy felt, and would rather nip this issue in the bud before it escalates.
Nonetheless there’s still much more of the SOPA story to be written, which may even carry into 2013 depending on how things go. But for now it looks like the public opinion is making an impact, and companies are learning the value of the old adage “the customer is always right.”
How do you feel about Sony, EA, and Nintendo overtly changing their stance on SOPA, but still supporting it as part of larger groups? What do you think will happen with the act next year?