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Mac Version Of Halo Exemplifies Piracy Problem? 266

Posted by simoniker
from the copy-and-forget dept.
An anonymous reader writes "MacSoft takes popular games and ports them to the Macintosh for all the Mac users to enjoy, but according to a TwinCities.com article, apparently there are far more users pirating Mac Halo than actually buying it A MacSoft spokesman 'didn't release sales figures [for Halo] but said illegal downloads number at least in the hundreds of thousands.'" The article uses this specific game to discuss how PC and Mac publishers are "...making gamers enter special codes, authenticate themselves online and jump through more hoops." It ends by describing the pain of the developer in seeing their title pirated: "It was a dagger in the hearts of guys who worked 12 to 14 hours a day [on Halo]... We're on an emotional high, and it all comes crashing down."
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Mac Version Of Halo Exemplifies Piracy Problem?

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  • by Gr33nNight (679837) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @01:04PM (#8218869)
    but said illegal downloads number at least in the hundreds of thousands.

    There are over a hundred thousand mac gamers?!?

    (disclamer: this is a joke, i own a mac :)
    • by GizmoS (731002) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @01:42PM (#8219114)
      It's cheaper to buy an Xbox ($179) and Halo ($29) than to try to upgrade a mac via combinations of hardware and software to get Halo to run well.

      Heck- it's cheaper to buy a PC clone at $400+ than to try to get Halo to run well on a Mac.

      I have a 17" iMac G4/800 with 1GB of ram- this system will not upgrade "officially" much beyond this configuration. This system is 14 months old. It will not run any of the FPS PC ports from the past 2 years with an acceptible frame rate (including Wolfenstien, Jedi Knight II, and No One Lives For Ever.). I am not complaining about the inevitable obsolecence- it's the price curv between x86 hardware and Apple's.

      There is clearly a lot of polish and pazaz that goes into Mac systems. There is some bleeding edge risks too. There is, even with budget macs, no way to compare their performacne to PC counterparts at half the price. x86 beats the Mac hands down in budget power.

      While MacPlay and similar companies make bank on game-desperate mac owners trying to keep up with the PC market, it's disgusting to me. I bought NOLF for $49 when the PC version was $20 and the sequel, NOLF2, was $39 (and most retailers bundled the original in for free with NOLF2).

      I am done investing in Mac games. I'd rather put the budget towards Linux x86 as a gaming platform where many development houses are doing parallel development on Win32 and Linux instead of porting. It may lack polish, but at least I'd get more from my hardware investment.

      I don't condone the raping of intellectual property- but just the same, in NY state it's practically impossible to return software. At $50 a title, the gamble is too high on the Mac platform. I'd rather go without or choose a platform alternative.

      I am fortunate in that I have an Xbox, Linux and Win32 hosts here to kick around with. I find that I do most of my gaming these days (as little as I can game these days) on the Xbox. I can rent titles before I buy them to see that I am getting what I expect. I just drop in the disk, fire up XBOX live, and embarass myself publicly. On Win32 or Linux I spent more time updating drivers and other code and tweaking the system than actually gaming. The console (xbox, ps2, whaterver) just smokes the Mac for most action games, and it's hard to say that the Mac has more variety than today's consoles for most game genres.

      • by Arkham (10779)
        The thing is, some of us are not debating Mac vs. something else for gaming.

        I bought a Dual 2GHz G5 with a Radeon 9800 Pro and 1GB of RAM. I did not buy it to play games, but to do work at which the Macintosh excels (Java development, video editing, etc). However, since I have such a spiffy Mac, why not play games on it?

        For this reason, I buy Mac games, because I have a Mac and I don't have a console. I don't really need a console though -- I have a great gaming machine in the Mac. I could buy a conso
        • Yes, but you don't have CounterStrike! Still my favorite PC game. (And some tribes1/2..)

          But, also Mac [apple.com], The Sims, SecondLife [secondlife.com], CivIII, AOE2, Dungeon Siege, Diablo2, MOHAA Expansions (Spearhead), Rainbow Six.

          And Mac only has AirBurst [apple.com], great multiplayer game, one of my favorite Mac games. (Guess it won best of Mac World too.)

          I havn't tried Halo on my mac, it only has a ATI 9000, waiting 3 months when ATI releases its new GPU and prices drop, should be able to pick up an ATI 9800 pro for around 100 bux. The
      • by MalleusEBHC (597600) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @03:33PM (#8219880)
        I have a 17" iMac G4/800 with 1GB of ram- this system will not upgrade "officially" much beyond this configuration. This system is 14 months old. It will not run any of the FPS PC ports from the past 2 years with an acceptible frame rate (including Wolfenstien, Jedi Knight II, and No One Lives For Ever.). I am not complaining about the inevitable obsolecence- it's the price curv between x86 hardware and Apple's.

        I call bull. While I upgraded last fall to a Dual 2 GHz G5 with a Radeon 9800, before that I gamed constantly on my 450 MHz G4 Cube with a Rage 128. One of the games I played the most was Jedi Knight II, and my Cube handled it easily. I also played Ghost Recon extensively, and rarely would I run into having too low frame rates. Sure you won't be able to play them with graphics settings at the highest, but a year+ old iMac is not meant to be an awesome gaming machine.
        • by GizmoS (731002) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @04:11PM (#8220111)
          I think you point out something interesting- that frame rates at specific resolutions and other metrics boil down to the fact that gaming performance is subjective. What I may consider a reasonable frame rate at a reasonable resolution for a fixed resolution flat-panel (such as the iMac's included display) may not be attainable on my configuration. Just the same, the performance you saw and the gaming experience you had on the G4 might have been acceptible to you. Have you gone back to gaming on the G4 since getting your dual G5?

          My expectations are tainted by my experiences on more open hardware platforms such as the x86 provides. These games under windows perform significantly better on hardware costing half as much- that was my gist. It is a question of the econmomics of that performance.

          Obviosuly, if your needs or desires bring you to a specific platform, you play the cards you are dealt.

        • I'm with Malleus here. I currently own a G4/450 with a Radeon 8500. Halo is definitely a stretch of my computer's abilities, but as long as I don't care about bells and whistles - I don't - I can play it just fine.

          Likewise, JK2 and JKA both run well on my machine, with only a few hiccups noticeable, and then only in very demanding areas. A computer with more RAM (I've only 768) and a faster clock speed will handle all of these games much better than mine.

          Hell, if you wanted to be able to game on your co

      • I tried halo on my PC. It was a crashy, crappy piece of shit. I have no idea how many times I had to ssh into my PC (using cygwin) and use sysinternals' pslist/pskill to get control of my system back. When even Microsoft can't get a Microsoft game working on a Microsoft OS (XP) you know something is wrong. One assumes that they somehow broke it when they ported it from PC to Xbox, and then back to PC.
    • by DrEldarion (114072) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @01:52PM (#8219207)
      It actually breaks down like this:

      15,000 people downloading it 5 times each in order to make it seem like there are actually mac gamers out there.
      15,000 sympathy downloads from PC users
      10,000 people downloading the game accidentally on Kazaa when they clicked the wrong file while trying to download videos of Janet Jackson's breast.
  • by jokell82 (536447) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @01:17PM (#8218956) Homepage
    I have not downloaded Halo (mostly because there's not a snowballs chance in hell it'll run on my iBook 700), but my friend did. He has a TiBook 1Ghz, and it runs EXTREMELY slow. He had to put it on the lowest resolution possible to even make it playable. But even then the game slows to a halt when there's any kind of action going on... Needless to say he quickly deleted it.

    Now come on, this computer is less than a year old and yet it wont play a game that was made a few years ago. I wonder if it'll even run on the latest G4 desktops (I'm sure it flies on the G5). This is pretty unacceptable in my opinion.

    I'm willing to bet that a lot of people were in the same boat as my friend: pirated it to try it and found out it ran as slow as molasses - then quickly deleted it.
    • Exactly (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BoomerSooner (308737) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @01:30PM (#8219026) Homepage Journal
      I get a pirated copy of every game first (with the exception of Bioware titles). There is no way in hell I'm buying a $50 game that won't run and cannot be returned. I'll waste the $0.25 on a blank and then see if it's worth buying.

      Maybe if MacSoft worked closer with the development studios to get the titles out within a month or so of the PC release they'd sell more. When you have to wait 1-2 years for a game that is in the PC bargin bin for $9.99, most people will just pirate it since the perceived value isn't there.

      For example, Neverwinter Nights. It was supposedly getting released for Linux, PC and Mac in the same packaging at the same time. Reality: 1+ years later, no expansion packs and it doesn't have the Aurora Toolkit and it's $50. The PC version is $30 with the first expansion (gold version) and toolkit included.

      If you want to play games get a PC. Until Mac releases are timely I won't buy any.
    • So... Shareware? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Hollinger (16202) <michael&hollinger,net> on Sunday February 08, 2004 @01:41PM (#8219110) Homepage Journal
      So the appropriate answer to Mac Halo's problems is a free and open beta test and/or "shareware" release, ala Doom, Quake, etc. Give people the engine and a couple of levels, and maybe multiplayer play and see what happens?

      Now that I think about it, I wonder if id [idsoftware.com] will do that for Doom III [doom3.com].

      <MINIRANT>
      Also, I wouldn't have expected any laptop made a year ago to support games released recently. That's the nature of the machine, unfortunately, as far as laptops go, unless they're one of those hacked-together beasts [sagernotebook.com] that use desktop components [sagernotebook.com].
      </MINIRANT>
    • by Xzzy (111297) <sether.tru7h@org> on Sunday February 08, 2004 @01:42PM (#8219118) Homepage
      > Now come on, this computer is less than a year old
      > and yet it wont play a game that was made a few
      > years ago.

      But it wasn't made a few years ago. Sure, it released on the xbox a ways back, but as far as your mac is concerned it's a brand new cutting edge game.

      It has rendering features that prior to the mac/pc release, did not exist in any other game. It uses features that Doom3 and HL2 are heavily reliant on.. neither of which you can buy yet.

      That's not to say there aren't some speed issues, the next update of PC Halo promises some real advances in efficiency. But mac/pc Halo is only an "old" game by virtue of it's artistic content.
      • so what you're saying is that it's ok that it's slow because it uses new rendering techniques... ...but that it still looks like it's from few years back?

        where does that leave the rendering techniques? usually you use new rendering techniques to get it to look better OR to run faster.
        • Dunno if we're playing the same Halo or this isn't what you were suggesting, but the Halo engine doesn't look a "few years old" to me at all.

          At least in my case, Halo has only run slow due to poor hardware or bad drivers. These days (due soley to buying a dx9 capable card) I can run the game today with all options revved to max, albeit at an 800x600 resolution. The game looks stunning. Metal surfaces shimmer, headlights paint bump-mapped patches on walls they pass over, tank rounds spew dirt into the air,
          • Yes. All that HAS been done before. And as a Hardcore gamer, HALO runs waaaaay to slow on PC/MAC to be enjoyable. Then engine is slow, the gameplay is slow, everything is slow.
          • it's not that hot, all of that has been done before. not that many even CARE about those effects anyways.

            the levels itself are what I care about, they're a prime example of why xbox should have had more than 64mb of memory.. those shiny shimmering bumpy surfaces are _flat_, it makes for boring levels(and personally I think unreal 2 did those eyecandy parts much better not that it helped it much but at least it's engine performed it's duty). and really if halo amazes you with outdoor areas, take a look at u
    • I have a 2.4ghz p4 with 1g ram and a ati radeon 90000.

      It runs dog slow on my machine as well.

      The game just sucks, get over it.
    • Halo chokes a little on a Dual 2.0Ghz G5 when there's a lot going on, but I ramped up all the settings to maximum.

      Otherwise it plays fine.

      I couldn't determine whether the slight lag on the assault rifle's tracking was a feature of the game or performance issue. It could just be because it's a crap weapon at range compared to the plasma rifle.

      Quake III plays very well on the G5 though, which is to be expected, as does Elite Force II. I've been looking for Elite Force 1, but haven't been able ti find it in

    • Here's my take on this matter....

      Most mac games are vastly inferior to their windows counterparts, at least as far as performance goes. Sim City 4 runs better on my girlfriend's year and a half old laptop than it does on my G5, and that's just completely unacceptable (not that it's that bad on the G5 though). There is no way on earth that her laptop has even half the horsepower of my G5, in any subsystem, so clearly maxis just slapped together a half assed mac version and kicked it out the door.

      Basically,
      • All I have to say is let the buyer beware. And in addition, we really need reviewers who can bring themselves to comment on HORRIBLE stability bugs. I always read the reviews before getting a game, and they never mention bugs, even if the game is so buggy that it doesn't hardly run, the reviewer will never mention that little tidbit. Don't you think that is maybe more relevant than anything else?

        I'd like to see a "cumulative stability rating" for developers and publishers, based on (a) whether their games
  • by baywulf (214371) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @01:22PM (#8218983)
    If you could copy computer hardware for free then that would happen also. That is why these people pay a ton of money for the hardware and then pirate the software.
  • by Drakino (10965) <d_slashdot@NospAM.miniinfo.net> on Sunday February 08, 2004 @01:23PM (#8218988) Journal
    I have to admit I will never buy Halo on the Mac. Why? Well, I own it on the PC already. My Wintendo will always be my main computer box, since it does games better then my Powerbook. But, I personally enjoy a game of Warcraft 3 every once in a while on the road, so I pop in the same copy of the game I only had to buy once to play it on either my Powerbook or Wintendo desktop.

    Use this same argument for Linux too. Many gamers see no reason to buy a Linux only version of a game over a Windows version. But a ton enjoy the fact that the Windows Quake disk also allows Linux play.

    Macsoft also has the problem of not ensuring they keep up with patches. By what I understand, no Mac user could play online with a PC user for a while after release. Thats a bad thing for sure.
  • by tprime (673835) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @01:26PM (#8219003)
    After all of these years, isn't Halo for the Mac public domain now? :-)
  • by Tuxinatorium (463682) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @01:30PM (#8219023) Homepage
    There's another type of very very widespread copyright infringement that takes place entirely offline. As soon as 1 person in the dormitory gets the halo CD or what have you, they share it with everyone else on their floor and set up huge lan games.. all from 1 CD. I estimate about 10 people on my floor got Call of Duty from 1 guy's CD and we can all play multiplayer online at the same time :)
    • Before peer to peer, the content owner's couldn't estimate for sure the amount of offline piracy. And they still can't, because the only surveys they get are from online piracy. In fact, the RIAA didn't begin their Great Crusade against their customers until Napster came along. Out of sight, out of mind.
  • Screw You Bungie (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @01:31PM (#8219037)
    Bungie was the Great Hero of Mac gaming with titles like Myth and Marathon. Fabulous games that didn't require a supercomputer to get interesting graphics and great game play. Scenario editors that spawned communities.

    Steve Jobs was using Halo to demonstrate 400 MHz G4 Power Macs. Halo was being voted the Game of the Year before release. We were going to have it for Christmas 1998.

    What did we get? Shafted. Bungie Sold Out to the Great Satan. Sure, when the sellout occurred there were still promises that Bungie would release for the Mac at the same time as the XBox. Never Happened. When Halo finally became available what did we get? Bug ridden trash with insane hardware demands and a non-functional scenario editor. Myth sold off, and the result - a well documented failure.

    If Mac Halo is being pirated in great numbers as a result, I don't have a lot of sympathy for Bungie/Microsoft. They broke faith with their users.

    • by superultra (670002) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @02:32PM (#8219497) Homepage
      If Mac Halo is being pirated in great numbers as a result, I don't have a lot of sympathy for Bungie/Microsoft. They broke faith with their users.

      "Look, um, Macuser. I know what you and Bungie had was something special. But I think, and don't hate me for saying this, I think you just need to move on, you know. That something special. . .well, it was special for that moment. I mean calling Bungie's new girlfriend the Great Satan; that's just too far. Microsoft's not too bad of a girl, once you get to know her. I know it hurt deeply when it happened, and Bungie probably used the whole let's be friends line. But just because Bungie decided to just be friends and are hanging out all the time with Microsoft now doesn't mean that you can sneak into Bungie's house and take all his stuff. That's just too far, you know? Honestly, Macuser, I'm surprised that Bungie hasn't applied for a restraining order. Don't get me wrong, you're really good looking, I'd even say you're pretty hot. You've really got some curves on you, that's for sure. This breaking into the house thing though and taking their stuff, that's just...strange. I mean stuff like this, it's just...freaky is all. I think everyone's been trying to be real nice to you, but someone should tell you straight up. Sometimes you can act a little weird, you know? Just...off, a little. Maybe that's why Bungie left you in the first place? And you've still got Blizzard right? He's cool, right?

      Just trying to talk, ok, sort things out with you? Call me later?"
  • all right... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EvanTaylor (532101) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @01:40PM (#8219100)
    So, it is alright for a company to abandon their users and sell out to MS.

    It is alright for their premiere platform to be the last one they port it to, years later.

    It is alright for them to make the buyers unable to play with their PC friends who got the game years earlier.

    It is alright for the game to run like complete ass showing it was quick port.

    Is that all right?
  • by unixbob (523657) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @01:49PM (#8219184)
    How have these guys measured this? downlading stuff off bit torrent you rarely get more than 20 seeds. How many files have you grabbed from kazaa that have more than 10 other clients they are downloading from? Seeing as there are loads of p2p networks, how have Macsoft come to the conculustion that "hundreds of thousands" of illegal downloads have occurred.

    lots of comments here mention how the Mac version is buggy, slow and people resent buying the game after bungie sold out to Microsoft. Perhaps (in true RIAA style), Macsoft are blaming poor sales on p2p networks as opposed to poor product.
    • they're going for the sympathy factor..

      besides than that if they were real professional geeks this really shouldn't surprise them at all, and know that if the game is copied around that really doesn't necessarely mean that people would actually pay you hard cash for it, people are willing to try crap for free but rarely to pay for it.

      porno is a prime example, there's shitloads of people copying it but would they buy even 1/10th of the amount they're copying if they couldn't copy it? (applies to mp3's as w
    • With multiplayer software (as opposed to music or video) its easy to tell how many copies are in the wild. Just see how many people are playing online with each version. Any server browsing software can do this.

      I'd imagine its easy to notice if the number of people playing online is much greater than the number of copies sold. This isn't rocket science people.
    • For the life of me, I can't remember the company, but /. had a few stories a long time ago about radio stations siging up with a company that tracks music trading on kazaa and some other networks. The Co. gives them regionalized breakdowns of what songs are being traded how many times... this way, the radio stations can play what people want to hear in northeastern kentucky or western massachussets. I don't see how it'd be terribly hard to track one specific game, and its easy as pie to track usage from bit
  • Hold your horses (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Henry V .009 (518000) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @02:05PM (#8219323) Journal
    And if these people had not pirated the game, how many of them would have bought copies? Only I small percentage, I'll bet. So how much money was lost due to piracy is an open question. In fact, how many copies of Halo will be sold due to this piracy (which is advertising, if unintentional)? Perhaps this will eventually be money in the pocket of developers rather than a dagger in the heart. There is no way to tell without hard numbers, and those are probably unknowable.
  • by BW_Nuprin (633386) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @02:07PM (#8219331)
    ...is when no one bothers to even pirate your game. I worked on a little game for Gameboy Advance called Monster Force for a little more than a year. While the game itself is fun, the story behind it is so lame and unmarketable that no one ever touched it. I think the publishers just kinda DOA'd it. I know it made it to stores, but I've never seen it. I would LOVE to hear that it was the golden child of the ROM scene. All I want is for people to enjoy my games.
  • However (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bagels (676159) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @02:08PM (#8219344)
    its seems possible that at least one member of the Halo team, or someone close to them, is actually celebrating this - because somebody with access to the PC version pirated it and put it on the web something like nine days before the official release.
  • The real problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nacturation (646836) <nacturation @ g m ail.com> on Sunday February 08, 2004 @02:45PM (#8219587) Journal
    Where is the demo? I go to Macsoft's Halo page [macsoftgames.com] and see a nice collection of screenshots, but is there a downloadable demo? Perhaps that link to "Preview" is it. Nope, that just goes to a review article on Apple's site [apple.com]. Well, maybe they're just really trying to sell it. Maybe it's really under the Game Demos & Updates [apple.com] page. Sorry, not there either.

    The real reason why people are downloading the pirate version is because that's all that's available for them to download if they want to try it out on their system. And let's face it -- this isn't the early 1990's anymore where you have to trust some biased Mac magazine who gives a favorable review because Macsoft spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a multi-page ad campaign. Everyone checks the review sites to see how it fares instead of just rushing out to buy it. And guess what... they're finding out it's junk.

    Macsoft, some of your products are great (Neverwinter!!) but you're not going to sell a whole lot of games with your "Trust Us" approach. Put out a demo and let people give it a spin. If it's good, there's a good chance they'll buy it. If they don't buy it after trying it out, then it's your own damned fault for putting out such a lousy product. But don't blame the p2p networks for spoiling sales of the stinker called Halo.
  • Meh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fondue (244902) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @03:01PM (#8219679)
    I'd probably have more sympathy for Bungie if the Mac and PC ports of Halo weren't so hopelessly late and sloppily ported.

    Still, they can surely find some comfort in the fact that the Xbox version is, absurdly, still selling at full price.

    They're really in no position to whine about anything.
    • Regardless of whether Bungie (Borg Bungie) still deserves love from Mac users, it does suck that MacSoft gets screwed over.
  • Random Comments (Score:3, Insightful)

    by polyp2000 (444682) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @03:19PM (#8219808) Homepage Journal
    Naturally it is sad to see this happen. Many people on this forum will remember what happened to Amiga due to (amongst other things) how rife piracy was. I remember having boxes and boxes of floppies containing cracked games. Having experienced that, I am now much more careful about stuff like that.

    I use Linux for my desktop, most of my software is legit, i.e. free as in gpl'd beer. All my PS2 console games are payed for and lovingly arranged on the shelf.

    Mac people pirating games are harming the future of games on their platform. Windows is the dominant PC gaming operating system, its been like that for years. Windows warez junkies are all over the place, but software houses can still make money due to sheer market penetration and online gaming.

    Bottom line, if you love your Mac and want to see it grow as a gaming platform. Support it or watch it die.
    • Re:Random Comments (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MalleusEBHC (597600)
      Mac people pirating games are harming the future of games on their platform. Windows is the dominant PC gaming operating system, its been like that for years. Windows warez junkies are all over the place, but software houses can still make money due to sheer market penetration and online gaming.

      Bottom line, if you love your Mac and want to see it grow as a gaming platform. Support it or watch it die.


      I don't think you should view this as typical of the Mac gaming community. There are a multitude of factor
  • by DavidLeblond (267211) <[moc.dnolbeldivad] [ta] [em]> on Sunday February 08, 2004 @03:21PM (#8219817) Homepage
    The game runs like hell and half of the features don't even work. The gamepad support is "coming", the multiplayer crashes my machine and the game with all the details turned down at 640x480 resolution runs on my 933MHz iBook like I'd expect Half-Life 2 to run on a 286 with all the features turned on.

    I've played better looking games on my iBook that ran a lot smoother. If the game started out on a Mac, why did macsoft have to port it anyway?
  • A friend of mine gave me a Halo CD with a CD key good enough to play locally but not online. I said "thanks" and got down to playing. I finished the game in about 5 days of long sessions, and here's my review:

    Halo on the Mac sucks slimy donkey balls.

    I kept hoping that it would get better, but it got worse and worse until finally it was torture. I finished because I'm anal-retentive that way: I hate to leave things unfinished.

    Please note that I'm not trying to defend or condone software copyright

    • A friend of mine gave me a Halo CD with a CD key good enough to play locally but not online. I said "thanks" and got down to playing. I finished the game in about 5 days of long sessions, and here's my review:

      Halo on the Mac sucks slimy donkey balls.
      ...
      Moral of the story: if it hadn't sucked, I would have bought two copies.

      Yet you did play it for several hours over the course of five days. Come on.

    • Repetetive maps:

      Let me guess? Guilty Spark 343 or whatever that FUCKING ANNOYING floating head thing is.

      I wasted about 60 shotgun shells trying to kill that thing, even though I knew it was integral to the plot and hence invulnerable.

      That level sucked - it was the same room over and over. It was slightly interesting in regard that you were deluged with enemies and had to watch your ammo if you played it on Legendary, but other than that it was just dull.

      The reactor level (where you walk into the three r
    • Were you playing on Legendary?

      There's a rather large difference between Legendary and other modes.

      I liked Halo. I'd never pay for it, given that it was published by Microsoft. (I've played a pirated version and one purchased at employee discount by a friend of a friend working at Microsoft.)

      The performance does suck, have to agree. The enemy variation isn't so bad, because the AI plays out each battle quite differently -- it isn't just "run, see enemy, shoot enemy" that Doom provides. If you were fig
    • I can't comment on the performace, as I've only played Halo on Xbox. But I do think you're missing out on the gameplay front.

      You have to play on Legendary. The other modes are OK to get you up to speed with the controls and weapons, but the gameplay is all on Legendary. When you're there, the map 'repetition' (remember that Halo offers Silent Cartographer as well as The Library) and lack of enemy variety cease to be concerns. Your sole concern is how you're going to get past that single Covenant Elite and
  • by MiceHead (723398) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @03:34PM (#8219888) Homepage
    From the perspective of someone who creates and sells small games for a living, I'd pooh-pooh most arguments legitimizing the act of piracy.

    1. If the game "isn't worth buying," don't pirate it, spend 30 hours playing through the whole thing, and claim that you "wouldn't have bought it, anyway."

    2. If you want to try the game out before buying, don't pirate it; play the demo.

    3. If there's no demo, and you don't trust the developer enough to buy the game, sight-unseen, don't buy it. The developer doesn't deserve your money, but neither do you deserve to own a copy of their game.

    4. Copy protection schemes that prevent you from playing the game you paid for are inexcusable. If the copy protection detracts from the game, tell the developer why you're not going to buy from them again. Don't pirate the game; piracy will only make future copy protection schemes worse for legitimate users.

    Recently, a young man from the UK e-mailed us, requesting a free copy of one of our games, citing that he could not possibly buy it. Later, he e-mailed us asking for tech support on the full version. Is this audacious, or simply stupid?

    • The entirety of the problem here is that there is NO demo, and that 99% of shops refuse to accept returns on opened software.

      So, with no demo and really bad word of mouth that suggests the game demands a dual G5 to play decently, what do you expect people to do?

      I bet 90% of the people who downloaded the game just trashed it after finding out how badly it runs on their systems.

      .
    • by gozu (541069)
      1. If the game "isn't worth buying," don't pirate it, spend 30 hours playing through the whole thing, and claim that you "wouldn't have bought it, anyway."

      Just *what* exactly do you think a pirate has to gain by lying about whether (s)he would have bought a game or not? It's not like game companies are going to change their stance towards piracy anyways.

      2. If you want to try the game out before buying, don't pirate it; play the demo.

      Even if all games had timely playable demos (most of them don't), wh
  • by fuzzhead (750413)

    Here's a quick story:

    Friend #1: Has a high-end Mac G5. Downloaded Halo and used it until his copy arrived.

    Friend #2: Downloaded the game. Tried it out on his current older machine. Ordered a new iBook. Bought Halo.

    Myself: Downloaded the game. Tried it out on my Powerbook 667 (under min spec). Played for a night. Didn't have money for a new machine nor wanted to spend the time playing. Deleted it.

    So, there you go. Three of the "hundreds of thousands" of pirated copies would have been prevented

  • by blueZhift (652272) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @04:45PM (#8220278) Homepage Journal
    Bugs and delays aside, let's give Bungie a little credit. Afterall, when Microsoft bought them and announced Halo for XBox, I was sure that PC or Mac Halo would never see the light of day. And I'm sure that the suits were all against anything but an XBox only title. Doing it on Mac and PC simply doesn't make economic sense given the numbers they have sold on the XBox. With that in mind, the only reason Bungie would release Mac and PC versions would be to keep their word to their customers. That's an honorable thing in these days of the bottom line rules everything.

    Unfortunately this piracy problem is a double edged knife in the back. Bungie developers are rightly pissed off, and now the suits will make sure that Halo 2 never sees anything but the XBox. Any experienced developer will tell you that supporting more than one platform is a lot of work which publishers are less and less willing to pay for. So we won't be seeing any more multiplatform Halo.
  • they don;t get it! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by teknokracy (660401) <teknokracy@teUUU ... inus threevowels> on Sunday February 08, 2004 @05:04PM (#8220408)
    They say "gamers need a way to download games legally." Well guess what, people don't download games cause they like downloading, they download cause the games cost $50+! And then you have expansion packs, etc, that are another $40-50, sequels, etc etc etc. And then even at that, only 10% of the games you buy will be worthwhile. I know Halo is an excellent game, but I can safely say that Mac users hold something against Microsoft because they basically stole Bungie, and Halo, and since Halo was debuted over 3 years ago - on a mac - that grudge will never go away.

    All they have to do is start charging LESS for their games and they will make up profits in the numbers of games sold. Look at Avril Lavigne - she sold over a million albums in the US cause they were only $8.99 or something like that, not $20 like most artists. I see games in the store every day ,and I always say to myself "if that game was $20 cheaper, I would be buying it right now."

    But don't even get me started on Sims games - they have made SO much money out of those expansions (Which are basically collections of the stuff you can get for free on the net, legally) it's not even funny.
  • ...and certain companies have absolutely no qualms about extorting that. I've always[0] found the argument that there's no Mac game userbase a bit lacking. If you make something good, people will buy it. However, in the past the majority of the game development took place on other platforms (specifically, Windows). What little effort was put into porting those titles invariably produced unstable, ill-performing, and embarassingly late hacks that I'm sure were more emulator than engine. Anyone else here ever
    • You sold out, you're now putting out Mac games through the 2004 equivalent of Lion Entertainment, the least you can do is STFU and get back to making Halo 2 (...for XBox) and suckling at the teat of your overlord Mr. Gates.

      Note that Lion Entertainment has to their credit the Mac Warcraft II port, one of the best ports in the history of game ports. The port itself is rock solid. Plus, during they port, they also added (because it seemed like something that would be neat) TCP/IP networking and 3d audio.
      • Note that Lion Entertainment has to their credit the Mac Warcraft II port

        Were they involved in that? My memory must be failing me, I don't recall their logo or involvement. At any rate, I do know factually that quite a bit of work AT BLIZZARD (North) went into making the Mac port kick ass.

        one of the best ports in the history of game ports.

        Agreed wholeheartedly. WC2 for the Mac made up for its lateness by going well beyond the original: higher resolutions, better sound, a Mac-like interface as appropri
  • Real Heartbreak... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by johnos (109351) on Sunday February 08, 2004 @05:46PM (#8220650)
    Is seeing something you put your heart into sink like a stone, or never make it out the door. The heartbreak these guys are feeling is the heartbreak of not making all the money you thought you were going to. Its not like piracy started last week. Did they think their game was going to be different? That everyone would pay for it even though that never happens with other games?

    As someone who has published software, I can sympathize, but really. Piracy is a fact of life. Its been going on since the earliest days of the computer business. Remember Bill Gates' famous letter? If you can't stand to see your program pirated, then get into another business. Or at least another line of programming. The broader the appeal of a software title, the broader the base of people that will take it for free if they can. And it has to be taken into account when budgeting the cost of a project. If you can't make sufficient income because of pirating, then your business model is broken.
  • The staggering number leads me to believe they counted downloads of the PC version too (And maybe even the Xbox?), and then suddenly a hundred thousand doesn't seem like that much anymore.

    Also, could one of the reasons that people download this game instead of buying it be that people simply can't buy it? I haven't really gone looking, but I think you'd have to visit atleast a few dozen stores before you'd find one that had Mac Halo.
  • Halo still is a relatively obscure game in the online world. I can say without a doubt that I have not come across a mac user in my hours put in playing HALO online so far. There are less than 200 servers with only about 1,500 players most of the time. In fact, there are so many T'kers (team killers) now, I doubt anyone will be playing Halo in a few months, especially with no updates planned till JUNE. Like the other MAC users have complained, nobody can play HALO at an acceptable frame rate. Even on hig
  • by j450n (678096) <jason@s2games.com> on Sunday February 08, 2004 @10:07PM (#8222219)
    First, I'd like to re-iterate some of the things expressed in a previous "Developer's perspective" post: The fact that there is no demo isn't an excuse to pirate. It means that if you don't trust the developer, you just don't bother yourself with it.

    Moving on, from my own personal experience, I can refute some of the claims that I see a lot of people make about "how it could be". The game that my company recently released was an online multiplayer only title, with the only form of copy protection being a unique key that could only have X active instances at any given time. No CD checks whatsoever. We made it that way because, as gamers ourselves, we hate stupid copy protection schemes. Also, the game was available for purchase on the web, as both an installation package and an ISO, for both win32 and Linux. The retail CD included both versions as well. We released a demo that included two maps, and one of the two playable races in it's entirety.

    Initially, the number of instances of a key that we allowed play simultaneously was rather forgiving. After the game had been out for a while though, we noticed that many keys were often in use up to their maximum number of instances. Obviously people were doing a whole lot of sharing, so we tightened down the number and saw a moderate spike in sales follow immediately, without a noticeable decline in player base.


    I guess the real point I'd like to make is this: it's completely debatable how much harm is being done by piracey, but the fact remains that it's not doing anybody any good.

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