Enshittification Blacklist

Please forgive my foul language, but predictably now that we’re heading for the capitalism mandated period of economic downturn and instability, a lot of the big near-monopolistic companies are cracking down in an attempt to squeeze more money from a user base that has already hit its cap.

Enshittification is the active and deliberate practice of making an existing product worse with the intent to force consumers to spend more money. There is no product benefit, there is no consumer benefit, nothing of value is created from this practice, and by any measure this should probably be illegal. This is one of those cases where people who believe capitalism is good should be screaming about how this is a perversion of the ideal, and people who are anti-capitalism will be making record of how this is yet another drop in the endless bucket of ways capitalism is fundamentally anti-human.

So anyway, here’s the most recent wave of Enshittifications:

Youtube / Google: In an attempt to crack down on people using adblockers, it’s introduced a lot of code to intentionally enshittify the entire website to pressure people to switch to Google Chrome, disable all ad-blockers, and pay for Youtube Red / Premium.

Except. You know. People like me who have been paying for Premium for years? are still getting hit by these intentionally designed downgrades that make the entire site lag when typing, or cause resource usage spikes across the entire PC when multiple Youtube tabs are open. Rather than driving people to spend more money to make the site functional again, if this gets much worse it’s going to give paying customers a lot of good reasons to stop paying and stop using the site at all. I know I’m considering it. I lived without Youtube in the past, I can drop it and move on same as I have with Nintendo.

Capcom: After a tournament organizer’s mistake of leaving a nude-mod for Street Fighter 6 enabled during an officially sanctioned Capcom tournament broadcast, Capcom has started a crackdown on modding of any kind of their games. Which might sound understandable on a surface level. Except they’re not just saying “don’t do it” they actively hunt down Youtube videos of people using mods, Twitch streams of people using mods, and submit copyright strikes and takedown requests. (Which is not the same as a Copyright Claim, on these automated platforms a copyright claim does little harm, but a Copyright Strike can get a channel deleted and completely annihilate somebody’s business and livelihood. And given there is no automated way to detect if a game is being played with or without mods, these strikes are clearly being submitted manually by somebody who has made a job of seeking them out.)

In addition, Capcom has had a great number of older games that they had ceased updating but were still selling. Long time fans had taken upon themselves to put thousands of hours of making new custom content for these older games through mods. In the case of games like Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3, they were arguably turning the game into a better value than anything else in the series and giving people a good reason to buy UMVC3 on PC instead of just getting a cheap used copy for consoles.

…Except now Capcom has started quietly inserting now anti-modding “DRM” into many of those old games via updates after they had not been updating these games for several years. All the update does is make the game run worse, harder to use, and make the pirated versions a better value than paying for it. In effect, they’ld have been better off just delisting all of their old games entirely.

I was also going to complain about X/Twitter being bought be a foolish rich guy and burning itself to the ground in the span of a year, and Reddit seeing the bonfire and being like “Ooooh pretty, let’s do that too!” and burning itself to the ground, but eh. It sucks, but I won’t feel nearly as bad about those platforms going away forever when it seemed like both of those platforms have been actively hostile to their own userbase for years.

I guess I’m particularly hurt about the Capcom thing because Street Fighter 6 was arguably one of the best games at release of everything they have made in their entire history. And then they turn around and fail with a poorly paced model for selling character customization outfits at an unreasonable price, a poorly planned crossover DLC that can only be used in battle hubs, and an aggressive crackdown on modding on other games they weren’t even officially supporting anymore.

If big companies want to turn their iconic products into a trash pile, let ’em. May the next generation of startups take their place by simple value of not being intentionally awful.