Question such as Can I use a PC license to play the Mac version? become useful once the game is released. Should it be reopen automatically or let the user to flag for moderator's attention and ask for reopen?

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I thought it was agreed rather definitively that questions about unreleased games weren't necessarily bad. Only when the answers were unknowable and thus led to speculation were the questions an issue- otherwise they should be let stand. See here for details. –  Decency Mar 8 '13 at 14:08
    
@Decency Simcity for OS X doesn't pass that test. –  badp Mar 9 '13 at 1:25
    
@badp I was more referring to the answers/discussion that's been posted, not that specific question. –  Decency Mar 9 '13 at 1:26

3 Answers 3

up vote 19 down vote accepted

Speculation about unreleased games is off-topic as per the FAQ. Debating what constitutes speculation in regard to official developer/publisher statement can be left to another meta post. For the sake of this answer, let's assume the questions it applies to are properly closed.

Should we reopen questions about unreleased games once the game is released?

No.

This would encourage people to ask questions about unreleased games, have them closed, and then they get all the rep when the question is reopened. This is called "parking" or "camping" and should not be allowed.

But what if the question is not an attempt to park and was just asked by a new user?

That's understandable. Direct them to the FAQ, meta, or chat. The question still should not be reopened. While new users shouldn't be immediately punished for their ignorance, they should not be rewarded for it either. Furthermore, users who follow the rules by waiting until the game is released to ask their questions should not be punished for those actions. Reopening such questions would do exactly that. Reward the rule breakers and punish the rule followers.

Instead, politely leave a comment explaining the current policy and encourage them to learn other policies by reading the FAQ and meta. We should be helping people become better users, but we don't have to leave rules broken to do so.

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Intent should never be a deciding factor when closing or reopening questions. It should be decided on the question itself. –  Frank Mar 7 '13 at 16:57
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+1 for the answer as it applies to truly speculative questions, but I strongly dispute the applicability of this answer to the question that prompted this meta. –  LessPop_MoreFizz Mar 7 '13 at 16:58
    
For the question in this instance, it was closed by @badp before anybody else had a change to vote on it. Secondly, this isn't speculation, every game that is released on Origin for both Mac and Windows has a transferable license - including Sims 3 and all associated content. Finally, if we're going to close questions on "unreleased games" that don't contain speculation, this should be applied consistently, which it isn't currently. –  user27134 Mar 7 '13 at 20:05

I believe the better course of action is to delete the question for now and re-ask it, if necessary, when the game is released.

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I don't think the question merits being deleted. –  user27134 Mar 7 '13 at 10:34
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@kalina I'm talking with the general case in mind. 1. We don't want these questions to linger around closed after the game releases, but if we don't delete it that's what'll happen 2. After the game releases, the question probably won't be asked in the first place as the cross-platform feature would get prominently advertised –  badp Mar 7 '13 at 12:10
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@kalina I don't think people should be allowed to park questions. –  user9983 Mar 7 '13 at 12:14
    
@badp why would the question be closed after the game releases? It's a perfectly valid question. Even if something is advertised clearly, people will still ask the question. –  user27134 Mar 7 '13 at 12:17
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@kalina, he means because it'd get buried and lost. Are you going to track them down and open them? More of a hassle IMO –  jmfsg Mar 7 '13 at 12:35
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@jmfsg I frequently vote to reopen stuff that should be open, it ends up in the review queue, and the community processes it - that's how these things are supposed to work, right? I see no reason why a question that will certainly be asked again and which is obviously a popular question should be deleted. –  user27134 Mar 7 '13 at 12:39
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@kalina One reason for deletion is to prevent people "camping" popular questions. They can ask it well in advance, have it get closed, and then get it re-opened to make sure that they are the "owner" of that question (and the rep that goes with it). I don't think we want to incentivize asking questions before the game is released in any way. –  bwarner Mar 7 '13 at 14:18
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In this instance, this clearly wasn't a case of 'camping' a question - it was a newish user that raise a question, which at the time had an answer from EA which has since gone missing from their forums. Had the answer remained, this would have been a completely answerable question, I think nuking the question immediately after it is deleted demonstrates that some people are too eager to delete content. –  user27134 Mar 7 '13 at 14:23
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@kalina Please be aware that while the one specific link going offline corroborates the reason why we have a ban on unreleased games to begin with, it is not why I voted to close. It's merely coincidental, although un/favorably so. –  badp Mar 7 '13 at 18:14
    
@badp understood, the timing was very suspicious - I wonder though, would you have closed if the link hadn't broken? –  user27134 Mar 7 '13 at 18:17
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@kalina Yes. I actually realized one of the links died after I closed. –  badp Mar 7 '13 at 18:24

The major problem I see with questions about the content of unreleased games is not that they lead to speculation, though that is part of it. But there is also no real point to asking them before the game is released, they are not actually useful, and they tend to get much better answers once they are released.

But there are certain types of questions that are useful before the game is released, as they help you decide on how to buy the game, or if you want to buy it at all. I don't mean questions that help you decide whether you'd like the game, those aren't a good fit. If you want to know about the game before it is released, read some previews. If you're still unsure, just wait until it is released and you can read a larger number of actual reviews.

The types of questions I'm thinking about are for example

  • questions about pre-order bonuses
  • questions about differences between editions or different language versions (e.g. does the version in country x have english voicovers)

Essentially, questions that determine on how to buy the game do seem useful to me, and while there might be no definite answer to them, this kind of information is something that the publishers tend to make available.

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