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A Poll About Licensing...

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by hightower, Nov 18, 2020.

?
  1. Only routes with official branding

    62.3%
  2. Routes be made regardless of official beanding

    35.1%
  3. Not Sure

    2.6%
  1. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

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    I keep reading here, and elsewhere, that DTG can’t make certain routes because of licensing. Although no one knows for sure if that’s the case, I know from chats on Discord a while back that DTG are reluctant to release unbranded routes because they perceive that they wouldn’t be popular.

    Following on from the thread about the most in demand routes, this has once again reared its head. Many of the comments are along the lines of ‘DTG can’t/won’t do XYZ because they don’t have the licence’.

    So I thought a poll might be worthwhile. Would you prefer routes to be made on the basis of whatever licences DTG can get hold of (and the limitations the licence may bring), or would you prefer routes be made on the basis of the quality of the route with unbranded (but correct) rolling stock.

    My understanding is that there is no reason that DTG could not release routes with the correct liveries, just no branding. I have absolutely no doubt that within seconds of routes being released community branding patches would be circulating with no rules or laws being broken. An issue for consoles granted, but the potential benefits outweigh the issues for me.

    No more limitations on route development, no more limits on liveries, no more taking DLC off sale because licensing deals run out, no more failing services or scenarios because you pass a red signal by 1cm with the emergency brake on and the wheels screaming, no more (I assume) paying to get hold of licenses. Potentially, where appropriate, could it be a win for DTG and a win for the players?
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
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  2. ZeenozPlays

    ZeenozPlays Well-Known Member

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    Without real branding, some routes won’t feel authentic and the trains will feel out of place.
     
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  3. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

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    We’re talking logos, nothing more.

    There are some routes that will never get made because the operator simply won’t give a licence, particularly in the USA. Would you rather never see those routes again, or see them without the operators logo?

    I think, on balance, where no other option exists it’s the latter for me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
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  4. Callum B.

    Callum B. Well-Known Member

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    There are ways to legally distribute branding even if it can not be included all in one package (that wouldn't require community modding), however DTG has decided against toying with any workarounds. When you're trying to juggle equal experiences not only across three platforms, but now including two more consoles, any workaround would quickly become a logistics and legal headache. If consoles were not a consideration, I think that they would be more likely, but even TS classic has not received BNSF content from DTG in many years and that game is PC only.

    I wouldn't be opposed to unbranded routes, but DTG seems allergic to the idea for one reason or another.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
  5. matjamca

    matjamca Well-Known Member

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    I would always want to see licensed routes. I think that’s better for everyone, even if it does limit what can be released.
     
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  6. 59321747

    59321747 Active Member

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    I began to suspect that DTG spent a lot of licensing fees in order to obtain a route "permit", otherwise it would be impossible to limit the route to 40 miles or less. It is also possible that the high license fee cannot allow DTG to make more long-distance routes. I guess this is one of the real reasons.
     
  7. byeo

    byeo Well-Known Member

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    * I voted for Routes be made regardless of official branding

    I know nothing about licencing rights and branding but I'd love to see routes added which no official branding on the trains. We have mods for PC as well as livery editor in-game. People will be knocking out everything we need in hours.

    While on the subject of licences, I assume licences for TS cannot be used on TSW2 as well unless specifically agreed? So will we never see the Avanti WCML route on TSW2 for example..?
     
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  8. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

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    It’s rubbish for DTG too. Having to pull routes and locos (as they have in TS) because a TOC no longer exists is utterly ridiculous.

    All that work etc for what? They have to have an option going forward for this circumstance. Imagine if this starts happening with TSW?!
     
  9. geloxo

    geloxo Well-Known Member

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    Only the real thing please. I don´t care about the perfumes adds in the stations but vehicles and locations should be as close to real ones as possible. This is a simulator. I have seen the branding issues in other games and you end up having silly names and logos that lead us to nowhere.

    Remember that liveries may be part of the company branding too, so you may not be able to replicate them either. To avoid the branding issues we have the freeware content. Users can distribute them that way if required. DTG just needs to upload that content as a regular user does, if this is not against their legal agreements.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
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  10. Luke8899

    Luke8899 Well-Known Member

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    I think this focus on licensing is misplaced to be honest, the game wouldn't suddenly explode into technicolor if licensing were abandoned. I don't personally think the game is currently being held back in the way that is being suggested here. What's missing is an appreciation that many different factors go into deciding which routes to build, licensing is only one, DTG say as much every time they are asked how they decide a route. For example, they have held the Amtrak license for years but never used it outside of NEC, clearly the decision there is actually related to factors other than licensing.

    I think it's quite clear that when deciding which routes to build for TSW2 they concluded there was an appetite for High Speed Rail, and as a result they prioritized that and have acquired the licenses for SNCF in France and Southeastern in the UK, as well as building on the DB license, all welcome additions in my opinion. The point though is that DTG make strategic decisions on what avenues to pursue, and this would be the case even if licenses were not a consideration. They can only make a finite amount of routes per year given the time-to-build/staff/resources, so ultimately they would still have had to decide to make one route over another. Someone is always going to feel like they are not getting enough of the content they enjoy, if people want to blame licensing for that then fine, but the reality is more complicated.

    Personally I'm happy with the routes DTG are selecting, I appreciate the branding and am happy for them to stick with it for the sake of authenticity. If one day they turned around and said "we cannot make more routes because nobody will give us a license" I might rethink my position, but given the number of routes they make per year, I don't expect that time to come soon.
     
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  11. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Another post where people think that licensing is only about colours and logos... The shape of the trains themselves can be an IP issue, so you could have the correct green and the correct logo on the side of a train, but then the manufacturer of the train sues you because the shape of the nose is proprietary and theirs...
     
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  12. ex-railwayman

    ex-railwayman Member

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    Yes, and of course all trains/locomotives have to be clean and gleaming, no dirt, no heavy weathering, they want these licenced products to be reflected accordingly, even though we all know that they didn't last in an ex-works condition for very long, in real life.

    Cheerz. Steve.
     
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  13. trainsimcz

    trainsimcz Well-Known Member

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    Will consoles users buy no branded routes ? Yeah on PC we have nice base of modders who made mods for TSW and of course they will create mods for that but consoles cant really mod the game, so they will cry why is PC version nicer than their.
     
  14. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, all good questions, and why I thought it worth a poll.

    It’s interesting to gauge people’s opinions, whichever side gets more votes. I don’t particularly have strong feelings either way and want to see the real world simulated as closely as possible, but equally would hate to think there are areas we might never see in the game because an Operator refuses to give a licence.

    That’s what (I think) makes it an interesting debate, and right now one view is clearly more popular than the other.

    Worth noting that MSFS comes without any real world liveries on it’s aircraft. That doesn't appear to have stopped it selling, and when it appears on the XBOX I can’t imagine it would be a problem. Or would it?
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
  15. byeo

    byeo Well-Known Member

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    There was a live stream a while ago where Sam talked about this. Wish I knew which one it was..
     
  16. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    Matt said on the Bakerloo Q&A that "short" routes are only because of dev time, and nothing else (it appears that the world editor is much more complex than TS2021, and as such the devs are slowed down, and it seems they aren't being given extra time to do longer routes). Also, there are quite a few routes that are more than 40 miles.
     
  17. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Haven't seen it but apparently there is now a tool which can auto generate scenery for certain sections so maybe that will speed things up a bit.
    Either way I don't think we'll be seeing 200 miles of routes in one release any time soon and they seem loathe to do extensions
     
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  18. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it's discussed in the LGV article.

    Would be nice to see it in action but the babies would take the demo as a promise they'll get their sweeties and cry when they realise the won't get them.
     
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  19. IsambardKingdomBrunel

    IsambardKingdomBrunel Member

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    If it is pre-privatisation rubbish, DTG doesn't need licencing.
    Their insistence on modelling modern era, is what causes the problems.
    But of course all the 10 yr olds with their consoles, dictate what is released.
     
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  20. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Not true. Pre-privitisation licensing is undertaken by the NRM or DoT, but licenses are still required
    I think we're about half "modern" and half not on the routes aren't we? Especially in UK terms
    DTG do. Nothing to do with end users as the routes have been a complete surprise most fo the time
     
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  21. byeo

    byeo Well-Known Member

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    1 - We have modern and 80's era routes but I'm sure you knew that
    2 - DTG dictate what's released
    3 - I'm a 35 year old console gamer

    You're wrong on all three counts.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
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  22. Purno

    Purno Well-Known Member

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    I think this poll is pretty pointless. There has been a few unbranded unlicensed DLC products for Train Simulator. DTG know how well they sold. That says more than any poll.

    Personally I think unbranding could be an option in cases where a license expires, so the DLC can be unbranded rather than withdrawn completely. I think there's still plenty of companies who are willing to sign some licensing deal, so DTG should still have enough options to make branded content.
     
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  23. byeo

    byeo Well-Known Member

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    As a non-TS player, which routes were unbranded?
     
  24. Purno

    Purno Well-Known Member

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  25. mclitke

    mclitke Well-Known Member

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    You know licensing goes both ways. You don't just pay a fee to be allowed to use their branding, you also get benefits from it. Who if not the rail operator themselves could provide them with the up to date technical data from their locos, railways, give them personal access to their trains or at least provide pictures first hand, layout of the stations and so much more.

    That being said, copyright is truly a b****, just imitating a design without the brand can already be a reason for a lawsuit. And even if it is unjustified, it is a gigantic hassle of lawyers and money. You don't want to get involved in any of these monkey business.

    And lastly, I'd rather run my DB trains through DB stations, sit in a British rail loco and see CSX branded diesel monsters pass me by. This is immersion, one point that is brought up by fans of this game very often as key feature.
     
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  26. Cramnor

    Cramnor Active Member

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    I think having the correct licenses and everything is important, and licensing does not only come down to liveries. They need licenses for the trains as well from the manufacturer I would assume. And to my understanding, British licensing is very complex, so even having the route and train without branding could cause troubles. It is sad to hear that some things can't be done because of branding, but I believe DTG is taking the right approach here, and I would blame more the companies not wanting to grant that license, I don't understand what the harm would be...

    However, what I think DTG should give at least a try is making a fictional route. There are some simulators where they do that, and I think this could be a great thing, where DTG could implement all the things that are fun to do without limitations - not only licensing, but also what real world infrastructure would dictate. Maybe even design their own trains, probably even based on community feedback, that could be very enjoyable. Of course not fictional or something from the future, but just not based on a specific real life route. I could definitively see that being a thing and me buying such a route.
     
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  27. BigH

    BigH Active Member

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    I voted for official branding, but only because there won´t be some kind of workshop on consoles to share user created content.
     
  28. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, the Welsh Marches only really came back through popular demand and BMG were willing to go to the trouble of doing it. It seems people didn't really care in the early days of TS but have become increasingly more demanding of branded stuff.

    And before anyone brings up fictional liveries, I don't think DTG are even going to toy with that idea. Look at the reviews for the old Class 390, it's been getting berated pretty much since day 1 for not having the VT livery.
     
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  29. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I totally agree with the fictional livery and/or route thing.

    Personally I’m not into that. Doesn’t mean it’s not valid but I want as much realism as possible.
     
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  30. DTG Natster

    DTG Natster Community Manager Staff Member

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    So as I'm sure many of you are aware licensing doesn't simply cover liveries, we also have to consider many other things real world routes also contain such as branding at stations and on platforms.

    Our aim is to provide you with authentic routes that are as realistic as we can achieve. Although unbranded routes could technically be possible we don't feel that is simulates reality in the way our products are designed to do, which is why you shouldn't expect to see it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
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  31. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

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    Figured as much, but I think it’s been an interesting discussion nonetheless.
     
  32. 59321747

    59321747 Active Member

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    If you do not choose the route with the city, there will be no trouble. I think, for example, the Rocky Mountains and the Cajon Valley have reduced the difficulty and time of development.
     
  33. IsambardKingdomBrunel

    IsambardKingdomBrunel Member

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    Well i got the response i expected from the fanbois.
    If i could get a refund for TSW2 i would.
    There has been no big leap forward from 1 to 2.
    Most games when going up a version.
    Have some notable additions and improvements.
    All i see with TSW2 is a laughable livery tool.
    Plus a not fit for purpose scenario planner.
    A pathetic 7 mile long IOW route and a not much better 14 mile LT route.
    DTG could have at least done one of the longer LT routes.
    They could have also added some 1938 stock, for more variety from the 1972 units.
     
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  34. mclitke

    mclitke Well-Known Member

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    So basically
    "Everyone who disagrees with my opinion is a fan boy. The game is bad because they did not what I wanted"
    Great discussion fuel.
     
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  35. LastTrainToClarksville

    LastTrainToClarksville Well-Known Member

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    Isn't this pretty much the case, anyway? With the exception of some graffiti-blessed freight cars, I can't immediately recall any TSW rolling stock that doesn't look as though it just rolled off a showroom floor. I've often felt guilty running cars, coaches, or engines through a "washer" because it might dull the paint.
     
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  36. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    I imagine branding wasn't an issue with NTP and TVL, maybe that is the solution ;) !

    Personally I am not worried by branding and would rather a route I was interested in came out with no branding rather than not at all. I suppose with modern routes it is part of the experience though.

    I am glad DTG are striving to make routes as realistic an experience as possible. On that note I await a Provincial liveried class 143 for TVL with eagerness!
     
  37. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    Not realistically, no. It's because none of the rail companies that have operated in the North since BR are seemingly willing to license. Arriva presumably won't because they're throwing some form of hissy fit (so that knocks Northern Spirit ( *sob* ) and the recent franchise from 2016-2020 out of the question), and given Settle-Carlisle, Class 156 (the Steam one), Class 150/2 (the old one), Class 158 released for TS2021 with a Northern Rail (2004-2016) livery without branding, I can only assume Serco/Abellio didn't license either.

    So we're left with BR and the year 2005 and 2016 when basically nothing was branded, or to wait and see if the new operator will license.
     
  38. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

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    Serco/Abellio recently licensed for the Glasgow route in TS2021 didn’t they?

    At least I assume the did, there were Scotrail units in that DLC. Why would they licence TS2021 but not TSW2?
     
  39. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    It's just Abellio that runs SR, and it may be done through the Scottish Government, since they specified the logo and livery, only thing Abellio are allowed to do is put a small "ScotRail is operated by Abellio" on the doors.
     
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  40. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

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    Fair point.

    The issue you’ve raised is really what the poll is about. If (just for arguments sake) DTG weren’t able to get the Scotrail licence for TSW 2 then is that it? No Scottish routes ever?

    That is the essence of the debate. Do we accept the above scenario or say actually, under certain circumstances, a debranded route might not be the end of the world? I still can’t square the circle as to how AP can operate the way they do, but DTG can’t. They still get (arguably better) access to units, model them in immense detail and give away a branding patch for free. How is it one rule for one, but not the other?

    It’s a moot point anyway I suppose as DTG don’t seem to want to travel that road, but they’ve surveyed their customer base numerous times in the past so they must listen to some of it. To that end, the poll was purely to gauge where people were at.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
  41. Thelonius16

    Thelonius16 Active Member

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    I would enjoy completely fictional routes that emphasize interesting gameplay over unbranded real routes.
     
  42. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting on the licensing note, New Jersey Transit wouldn't allow DTM to release their U34CH with their older livery. The official release only came with the current scheme, as NJT wanted their current brand represented.
     
  43. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    I have a sneaky suspicion AP don't license liveries, at least not officially or in the same way DTG do. You'll notice if you look at their packs, they only supply branding for BR, defunct companies (they appear to take the definition of "defunct" as "doesn't operate under that name any more" - eg they brand EWS, but don't brand DB Cargo UK despite them effectively being the same company), and the company that gave them access to the loco/unit (eg GBRf for the 66, EMT for the VP185 HST, etc) without the user having to go to the branding patch, and Just Trains seemingly don't bother.

    As for access to locomotives, I don't know.

    From what DTG are saying about livery sharing, they appear to be extremely scared of death by lawyers, to the point they're doing their best to follow copyright law to the letter, therefore no branding patch (even for free), plus it'd be a logistical nightmare for consoles. Perhaps, it's because DTG are a much bigger company than AP and JT (I'll stick a "probably" on the latter), and/or more likely to be lawyered to death (given DTG seem to be very keen on building relationships with TOCs.

    Also,
    Assuming DTG don't want to go down the debranding route, it'd mean no ScotRail routes after about 2008 (or whenever the Saltire livery came in), dependent on if First are willing to license the First ScotRail brand, similarly National Express willing to license their SR brand, and there's also the possibility of BR-era ScotRail and SPT.

    I should point out, I'm not certain on this. I'm making assumptions based on what I do know, and what makes sense.
    For clarity - I'm not accusing AP or JT of breaking the law so pls don't sue me thx.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
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  44. GuitarMan

    GuitarMan Active Member

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    Licensing is a hot topic right now. There is one video game maker being taken to court due to the fact 3rd party websites allowed players to mod the game with the IP of the license holder.

    so in that situation the games company didn’t even create the content that was an issue themselves, or share the content, but have been sued because they were aware of it happening but didn’t stop it happening.

    as such, I understand DTG being cautious on this front.
     
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  45. ZeenozPlays

    ZeenozPlays Well-Known Member

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    So if we don’t agree with you, we’re “Fanbois”? LMAO.

    Well then ask for one. TSW may not have come with “big improvements” but it came with 3 new routes (if you’re playing on console) or 2 new on PC, for the price of one.

    If you don’t like IOW, you shouldn’t have bought it. The BKL was the easiest LU line to do and it’s their first, you have to start somewhere.

    And now you’re asking for inaccuracies... well I guess the game wasn’t made for you.
    The 38 Stock hasn’t run on the underground (in normal revenue service) since the 80’s. Also, you can use the Scenario Planner to put it on the BKL. And also, I partially agree for them to have had a special scenario or service, but they didn’t put one, no reason for you to Rant about it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
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  46. ex-railwayman

    ex-railwayman Member

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    Yes, absolutely, I've said this a few times myself over the years, Just Trains did it with their commercial routes Totham and Marsdonshire, why can't DTG do something similar? They created the charity route Project Platform why not make a few more larger and varied layouts?

    Cheerz. Steve.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
  47. ZeenozPlays

    ZeenozPlays Well-Known Member

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    Fictional routes can be cool, but when It comes down to a REAL line, we need the Branding.
     
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  48. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    They're probably too scared to given the original Class 390 has been given a bit of a bashing over the years for 2 reasons, 1 of which is the fact it includes only fictional liveries (or at least liveries that were never worn by a 390) - the other is to do with the tilting. Also, North Somerset Railway has been bashed for being fictional.
    I think, though, as a little one-off charity thing would be nice.
     
  49. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    Still really can't understand why DTG run into this yet other train sim developers such as 3DTS (Run 8) and N3V (Trainz) either don't (or don't give a rat's behind about the issue).

    For the UK, the answer is simple - put out BR, i.e. pre -privatisation 1994 era routes and stock, or even better go back to the green loco and blood/custard era, if there is any doubt about future licensing issues with a route. At the end of the day, no one has copyright on the geography and terrain through which a route runs it's just there on the map, so in the case of the US - do a BNSF route but just put unbranded orange or green locos on it.

    Well it is based on a former "real" railway line which is actually also quite a good solution to the problem. They could take a route from just about any part of the world and make it represent somewhere else! Heck the whole Somerset and Dorset or Great Central could be put together as a modern era route...
     
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  50. docsnyder1911

    docsnyder1911 Well-Known Member

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    Completely agree with you geloxo.
     
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