You ever go to help a friend whose wondering why their computer is running slow, get there and discover that they have about half a screen filled with toolbars? Normally I’d just figure the person was an idiot and didn’t realize what they were downloading. In reality there’s no reason to even download toolbars anymore, since most browsers now come with search boxes built into them. But toolbars still exist for browsers mostly so the company which made them can track your internet usage. If there’s a real use for browser toolbars, I haven’t seen them yet.
But lately I’ve been noticing a new trick that is annoying as hell. You go to install a game and your given the choice between the manual or automatic install. Now back in the day this was sort of important. Games would run largely off of the CD, but the installer gave you the option of installing all the files to the computer so the game ran faster. This mattered back in the day when your hard drive was only a gig and installing everything from the CD could take 200-400 MBs. Now it doesn’t matter as much given the size of hard drives, but most installs give you the option of custom installs.
Custom installs are largely jokes these days, but something that installers have been doing lately is sneaking in a toolbar installation. Now this isn’t something new, but in the past you would get a screen asking you if you wanted to install a GoDaddy Toolbar. Now though when you go to select what items you want in the custom install it seems to be a choice of game components, toolbars and useless non game related crap. I can only imagine the number of people who do the automatic install and wonder why they suddenly have a new toolbar.
It’s time to stop this. Trust me game companies, I’ve had a million chances to download a new IE toolbar. It’s not as though I’m suddenly going to change my mind about them because it’s on the install program. Packaging toolbars with installation programs is one of the most annoying trends in gaming today. I can only imagine they do it because they are getting paid to. But it’s a disservice to anyone who trusts installers to just install the games and wouldn’t actually look to see what is being installed.
As long as I’m bitching, I’d also like to see the return of actual options of what to install when installing a game. If it’s possible to run stuff of the disc, that would be nice. Not all of us have 1 TB hard drives growing off of the trees. I’m sure there’s plenty of stuff (including the god dam music) that can be left on the CD just fine. Especially if you are going to force us to have the CD/DVD in the drive to run the game anyway.