Imagine that you buy a ball. Now imagine that the store you buy the ball from demands that you always play within view of the store, and that you return the ball there for keeping whenever you're not using it. Is it accurate to say that you completely own the ball? Or are you just renting/leasing it, albeit courtesy of a one-time fee?
- having to run a 3rd-party program whenever I play
- having to remain online to access offline features
- having to re-register every time I reinstall (because of temporary hardware/software problems, because I needed the drive space, or because I simply lost interest for a while and later want to play again)
When I buy a game with online features, I do not expect a guarantee that those features will be supported for free or forever. But I do expect that all offline gameplay be available to me as long as I possess the code on a disc or on any other storage device. I expect a finished product which I can use whenever and however I wish in my own home.
I don't deny that Steam is an admirable service in many ways, but I avoid it mainly for this reason. How about you?
As for Steam's recent deal with Infinity Ward to exclusively handle Modern Warfare 2's servers, I support D2D, Impulse, GamersGate and others in their response. It's obviously unreasonable to expect a retailer to sell a product that requires the consumer to use that retailer's competitor... and not just once, but every time that consumer uses the product.