Well, lets have a look shall we?
-You buy scum from an online retailer (steam)
-To play multiplayer you need a server, this can only be rented by G-portal exclusively even though the dedicated server part is/was part of the game)
Link to someone who setup his own server as the files needed were part of the purchased product 2018: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFz_JU-SCmc
Essentially, to play part of the game you have to rent something that really isnt required, because you could setup a server yourself, but, the developers have removed the capability to do so due to an exclusive agreement with G-portal. It is rumoured that servers files WILL be released at a later unspecified time. At current time they are not available and there is no release date. They argue, the contract with G-portal prevents them from releasing the server-files.
So, in order to rent a server with 50 player slots (something I could comfortably do on my own hardware if the server-files required were not omitted from later builds.) I would have to dish up 41,64USD. pr. Month. Thats a hefty sum for a game I paid 16 EURs for.. That is roughtly equivalent to the power usage of the underlying physcal hardware.
Have a gander:
They most likely run in a vmware or xen Hypervisor environment with several virtual software servers running on one physical server. With todays high capacity servers, 10 virtual servers on 1 physical is not unusual. This means, each month this server rakes in 10 times its running costs.
-G-portal has exclusive rights(distribution rights) to hosting the multiplayer part of the game.
-They do so, at an highly inflated price and SCUM devs have removed the players ability to circumvent this. It was possible earlier, it is NOT possible now. This yields G-portal a very definitive advantage as the only ones in the world who can host servers.
Hmm, Its a fairly dubious business model I must admit! I am certain none of the above falls under “Block Exemption Regulations”
So the Hammer falls? What do the readers think?