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  • RedSwirl 3:14 pm on April 21, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: DRM, ,   

    @bluesforbuddha @bowlisimo @impynickers I think GOG and Steam are almost alone in the business model built around thoughts like “We’ve accepted that DRM doesn’t work – if people want to pirate then they will pirate, so how do we convince them not to pirate? Build a service that’s better than piracy.”

    Gabe recognizes that piracy is a problem with service, not tech, which is something that every damn media company needs to realize. GOG started out with piracy as their biggest competitor and has always been focused on how to beat it. They actually said that more people find out about their service through piracy than from anything else: they find a game on a torrent that came from this “GoodOldGames” place, are convinced to check it out, and end up preferring their service to The Pirate Bay or whatever.

    It’s like how the dudes up there still don’t get why Netflix takes up more Internet traffic than TV piracy!

  • Shingro 1:29 am on May 12, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: DRM, Realms of Arkania, ,   

    Yeah, Starforce was of a similar note, it doesn’t uninstall itself completely, operates similarly to a rootkit, The main difference as I understand it is that because of how it was set up it would spin your hard drive almost constantly which caused degradation. To say nothing of the fact that someone could use it’s position below the kernal to hijack control of your system by exploiting a security hole in it’s programming. Securom isn’t exactly better, but it is at least far better programmed so there aren’t really exploits in it.

    Still, I recognise I’m about 2 more rants away from wearing a sandwitch board and ringing a bell crowing “The End is Neigh” so I’ll just do this

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/101407-13-securom-games#t617795 <– Fairly complete list of games that use secuROM, scroll up 2-3 posts if you want to read the complaints about secuROM

    http://www.reclaimyourgame.com/content/ consumer advocacy group that tests games and their security measures, I guess you could see it as a review site for DRM. Not that anyone knows it exists or cares about it's results

    Honestly, almost everyone who plays games, particularly from EA has securROM as their constant companion. Getting into knowing what DRM is in your system and knowing what it can do is like reading the lables of the food you eat, Terrifying in its implications, but you're going to eat the twinkie anyway, so might as well bottoms up and remain unconcerned.

    I mean I use them too, I've followed the whole Bioshock series and played DA II, it's just none of that stuff stays installed on my system for any longer then it needs to and I'm sure to scrub it out of there once I'm done.

    But beyond protecting yourself, if you have the *opportunity* and it won't cost you much. Please try to support people who try to do right by the customer. I'm not so naive to believe that informed consumers are going to become the majority any more then informed voters are going to outnumber the people who vote as the political ads tell them. At least though there's a chance for people who care and focus on gaming enough to be a market segment large enough that it's profitable to cater to us.

    Besides, you can pick up a free RPG from getting Witcher from GoG, I took Realsm of Arkania 1 and 2 myself, but there's also Gothic 2, and Arkania 3, and the Divine Divinity series if you like.

    Also: dammit, I did it again 😦

  • Shingro 8:17 pm on May 11, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: DRM, ,   

    @bowlisimo Hmmm perhaps I was the one misunderstanding. I thought you were deciding where to buy it between Steam and GoG. If you’re looking for information, only the GOG version is DRM free, a perk which probably has to do with the company running GoG. (additionally you get one of five RPGs free, various goodies and behind the scenes stuff, etc.) All other methods of obtaining the game will use secuROM.

    I’d note btw, that the Humble Indie Bundle raised over a million dollars with every iteration, and is widely considered a rousing success for whatever cause it is attached to.

    (Further ranting for those who like that sort of thing(?))

    I dunno, this is one of those things I have Issues about, but we all got Issues so I might as well Wall of Text it from the heart. =P

    The trouble I have is that the advancement of more and more draconian methods seems just the way things are and no one is bothering to stand up for it. Despite the headlines, did what happened with Stardock change anything? All their previous games could be pirated, with Demigod it was just far more obvious. You can bet Assassins Creed 2 was pirated and no pirate ever lost gameplay because their connection dropped. What’s the percentage of legitimate customers that need to be sacrificed on the alter of “this one is totally going to prevent piracy” before people will bother to make the minimum effort to resist the increasing security? If every game was distributed with an Iphone authenticator app that keyed in a 15 digit code would we be happier with the bother because we can pretend it’s making any difference to anyone?

    Really my main problem is *these methods don’t reduce piracy.* There isn’t even the “You wouldn’t mind more government survalience if you aren’t doing something wrong” argument since at least that has a chance of actually tagging someone. Scene releases never come out with a scrap of the stuff remaining in the code. Even in the bizzare situation where this persistent software is on a pirates computer from a legitimate game when they pirate something on it’s ‘murder’ list This is how it goes:

    Pirate: “What? Why isn’t this working?” *3 Google searches later* “oh shit, that copy of Bioshock I bought legitimately because I loved System Shock 2 installed a security program that’s breaking my computer and preventing me from pirating this other game.
    1: Shit, I’ve seen the error of my ways, I better buy everything I pirated previously and from now on
    2: Assholes, I sure made a mistake buying that one franchise legitimately, 100% pirate from now on even if I love the developer/company/series.

    Consider that this would be a person who has already pirated plenty of stuff, and has recently had the functionality of his computer impaired by said company. Even worse, false positives or things like “I never pirated before, but I lost 2 hours of gameplay on Assassins Creed, I’ll never make that same mistake again *pirate.*” Game companies have small enough audiences as it is without driving percentages of them towards that sort of thing.

    I believe and maybe wrongly so that the better way I feel to fight piracy is honey rather then viniger. I can’t remember who said it, but I think it was on Weekend Confirmed was something like “When I was young, I pirated things because I had more time then money. Now that I’m older I buy my games because I have more money then time.

    That is the reason Stardock has/had a great record of nonpiracy, because 4x turn based strategy games are the pervue of those of us who got MoM or MoO working on DOS 6.1 a while ago, and are now in our late 20s and have a decent job and bankroll and less time to play then they’d like.

  • Shingro 7:18 pm on May 11, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: DRM, ,   


    And yeah, I know that very few people will ever know that secuROM will not uninstall itself unless you use their special SecuROM removal tool, and yeah, most people will never know it’s taking up resources since it’s imprint is small. Yeah, even if they know people will never attribute lag or hiccups or having your CD burner trash its burn because the security software of a totally unrelated game has decided that it doesn’t think you have all the licences to the music or whatever. Few people will know it’s there and the people who do will never attribute a crash or conflict or lag with the fact that the DRM grabbed a resource at the same time your running application did.

    Of course the publisher has to pay extra to licence the useless, dangerous software reducing their potential profits. Of course the software will never actually be installed in the first place on a pirate’s PC, and of course there is a history of “My game would crash to desktop, until I removed the CD check” drawing more innocent people into piracy.

    Sure, chances are good that the whole bioshock debacle where people ended up with “0 installs remaining” and a useless game is unlikely to happen again…. But what is being gained? The fact that the only people who will ever have what is basically a rootkit installed on their system are the people who *paid* for the game is ridiculous and shouldn’t be supported regardless. Doubly so if the penalty for not supporting it is “same version, full features, extra goodies, doesn’t bog your computer down with useless and potentially dangerous software.”

    I know this is 80% likely that it’s just my techyness screaming against unnecessary overhead and dangerous loose programs with driver level control. Most people will never know it’s there, even if it does kick them in the teeth they’ll never attribute the problem properly. Hell it’s shocking that SecuROM and starforce have a history SO bad that even normal people realized it was fucking up their systems. It just kills me to see a company/government do the intelligent. reasonable, responsable thing and not succeed for it. Besides, doesn’t the Squad’s GoG referral banner still work on the Squad site? We should be using GoG whenever we can.

  • bowlisimo 6:36 pm on May 11, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: DRM, ,   

    @Shingro Is it on top of Steam’s DRM? I hate when they needlessly double up like that, although I’ve never had a problem with SecuRom in the past. I’ve heard the horror stories, as with Starforce when it was still being used, but despite it all my computer fails to explode.

    I hear you though, and I don’t like supporting intrusive or draconian protection schemes that usually only impede paying customers instead of pirates, but I feel like I’ve become more accepting of DRM on games in the past few months. Last year I was rabidly anti-Ubisoft and their BS always connected system, but now, after playing AC2 and not even noticing it (other than logging in) I’ve come around a bit. It still sucks, but I’m at the point where if this is what it takes to have AAA games on the PC, then fine, where do I sell my soul (just not for 60$ bucks)?

    Part of me is afraid for CD Projekt. I sincerely hope that after sticking their neck out like this, with their crazy Roddenberry-like faith in human nature, that they don’t get it cut off when people pirate The Witcher 2 in droves. You can already see the Kotaku headline writing itself when more people than the game was sold to try to download updates. Didn’t Stardock go down this route and get burned?

    I can’t help but think of the Humble Indie bundle. A lot of content, DRM free, for a good cause, and people still pay .01 or just pirate the whole thing.

  • Shingro 4:00 pm on May 11, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: DRM, ,   

    I know this won’t matter to pretty much anyone on the board, but keep in mind the DRM being used in Witcher 2 is SecuROM. I know that most people aren’t going to have any problems, but it’s a hugely invasive and theoretically horrible program. It’s a bit like getting a bomb installed in your lounge if the company promises to install air conditioning in your car for free. Now they never activate the bomb in 90% of cases, but no matter what you do, even if you sell the car the bomb is never removed and just hangs out forever.

    As someone who believes that I own my computer that’s pretty horrible.

    Now yes, they’ve gotten better since the class action suit, but even if I trusted their removal tool completely I still don’t give driver level access to anything on my computer because it’s *my computer* and I don’t support something running on my computer forever even when I’m not running the protected game. Yes my computer can probably handle the overhead right now, or in most games, but in this case when you have the option to support or not support it? Please make the slight extra effort and tell publishers that you don’t support it, handcuffing your legitimate customers is a bad precedent, one the game industry could do without.

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