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Spore, Mass Effect DRM Phone Home For Single-Player Gaming 900

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the incredibly-lame-ideas dept.
Tridus writes "The PC version of Mass Effect is going to require Internet access to play (despite being a single-player game), as its DRM system requires that it phone home every 10 days. Sadly, Spore will use the same system. This will do nothing to stop piracy of course, but it will do a heck of a good job of stopping EA's new arch-enemy: people playing their single player games offline." Is this better or worse than requiring a CD in the drive to play? Update: 05/07 17:17 GMT by T : According to a message from Technical Producer Derek French (may require a scroll-down) on the Bioware forums, there is indeed an internet connection required, but only for activation, not for all future play. Update: 05/08 04:10 GMT by T : Mea culpa. As reader David Houk points out, the 10-day window is in fact correct as initially described, so don't count on playing this on any machine without at least some Internet connectivity.
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Spore, Mass Effect DRM Phone Home For Single-Player Gaming

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  • I wouldn't mind (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AsmordeanX (615669) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @11:37AM (#23324416)
    Given my horrible luck with CD/DVD based protection systems I wouldn't mind that much if it phoned home from time to time assuming normal privacy concerns are met.

    As a person with cable based internet there isn't a time when I'm not at home.

    I think PC gaming is heading toward the persistent online authenticity check system. People look at games like Crysis which has been pirated to an extreme then WoW which was virtually immune to piracy for nearly two years and even now it requires a fair amount of fiddling and you can't play on the real servers.

    I'm surprised at the 10 days though. That seems kind of long to me. Sounds like something a cracker could exploit. If there is a timer there is a way to stop it.
  • Great. Just great. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Deagol (323173) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @11:39AM (#23324442) Homepage
    Well, that ensures I will most certainly d/l a cracked version. I've got legit copies of a half-dozen PC games from over the past years that I've felt were worthy of spending money on. Spore was one of the games I was actually itching to buy. Screw this internet requirement crap -- they just lost a customer before they even left the gate. What if I want to play on the road? I won't even offer them the same respect I've given a few other mis-guided publishers, of buying the game and then getting the no-cd crack. I'm tired of this shit by game publishers.

    Now that I think about it, I won't even bother with even getting an illegit copy. Why even patronize the product at all anymore?

  • Worse (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zifn4b (1040588) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @11:42AM (#23324480)

    What if I don't have an internet connection? What if I'm playing on a laptop in a location without access to the internet? What if the authentication server gets overloaded like what happened when Bioshock was released and there were a bunch of legitimate customers that bought the game that couldn't play for several days? What happens if the authentication server goes down? What happens when I want to play this game 5-10 years from now?

    It's been said before but this does nothing to curb piracy. The pirates will crack this. Meanwhile, the customer who purchased a legitimate copy of the game will have their ability to play it be hampered.

  • Re:FFS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Firehed (942385) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @11:56AM (#23324738) Homepage
    And they've just ensured that I will NOT be purchasing a copy. Not buying and then playing a pirated copy (which I tend to do with a lot of my existing games for a similar reason), but a transfer of $0 from myself to them in exchange for a copy of the game.

    You hear that, EA? You just ensured that I will not be purchasing Spore, which up until this news was at the top of my buy list.

    I'll keep the money set aside for when you change your mind. In the meantime, I'll be playing a Swedish [thepiratebay.org] version.
  • Re:FFS (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Veritas1980 (1008679) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @11:58AM (#23324768) Homepage
    This is nothing short of ignoring anyone who is not always online. It is rude, callous and blatantly giving their fans the finger. I have now withdrawn my preorder.
  • Re:Worse. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jacksonj04 (800021) <nick@nickjackson.me> on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @11:59AM (#23324790) Homepage
    I think it's worse, but should be considered as an alternative to CDs.

    How about EITHER the game checks every 10 days, OR demands a CD be inserted at least every 10 days? I can't see checks going away any time soon (Arguments about them being a waste of space aside), and in the absence of requiring neither I'd prefer to be able to do an online check so I don't need to drag CDs around, but still be able to do a CD-based authentication if I have no network.
  • Re:FFS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Clovis42 (1229086) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @12:09PM (#23324946)
    While I pretty much agree, it is worth noting that Spore is essentially a network game. You're not really supposed to play it offline. A major point of the game is getting a totally new selection of user created content everytime you play. Playing Spore offline would take a lot away from the game as it's been described. Still, this plan doesn't sound too great.
  • by MrAngryForNoReason (711935) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @12:11PM (#23324964)

    What's to keep EA from turning off the authentication server in 5 years when they no longer "Support" the game.

    I don't support their DRM but this isn't really comparable to the issues with PlayForSure. Microsoft were distributing someone elses product on the proviso that it was protected with DRM. EA are distributing their own product so they can patch the game at any point to remove the DRM. Microsoft couldn't do the same with PlayForSure because the record labels who own the copyright would never have agreed.

    Copy protection on games is only really intended to stop copying for the first few months to protect sales. After this a lot of publishers release patches removing the copy protection as the game has sold 90% of its potential copies.

    This doesn't of course make it ok to use copy protection that will prevent people from playing a game they have paid for. As copy protection is almost always broken almost immediately anyway it is only ever the legitimate customers who suffer.

  • by Tridus (79566) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @12:17PM (#23325094) Homepage
    Stardock has this stuff figured out. Here's how life works if you buy Sins of a Solar Empire:

    - You can install it from the original media, a copy of the original media, downloaded from Stardock, or whatever. The game works without a disk, and without a key. It doesn't phone home. It treats you like a customer, not a criminal.

    - Registering with Stardock (putting your key in once) gets you access to updates on the website. Oh, if your CD gets lost, you can also download the entire game again for free from Stardock.

    - You need the CD key once to create an online multiplayer account. Unless you want to play LAN, in fact two players are allowed to play LAN games with only one copy of the game between them. (You can probably do more then that without technical hurdles, the license just explictly allows it for two people.)

    Take a good game and put all that on top of it, and as a paying customer I feel good about buying it. I like buying games, it means more games get made.

    In the case of Mass Effect, buying the game means I can't use it while I'm moving, when I'll have no Internet. Of course the whole point of buying it is to play a single player game while I'm moving, since I won't have World of Warcraft due to having no Internet.

    But the pirated version will work just fine for me. So as a paying customer, I get treated WORSE then someone who pirates the game. I'm failing to see how this does anything but encourage me to pirate the game.
  • by Moraelin (679338) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @12:24PM (#23325258) Journal
    Speak for yourself. Some of us are more pragmatic than fighting ideologiocal fights, just for some noble ideal sake. _I_ for example am not a paladin, and I'm not on an anti-DRM crusade just for the common good and freedom. I still think copy protection sucks, from a very pragmatic point of view.

    1. To start with the least evil, I have whole bookcases full of games. I'm also not an OCD case, so I don't usually feel a need to sort pencils by length or CDs alphabetically. It sucks to have a game on the HDD and have to freaking search for the CD to be allowed to actually play it.

    2. It _has_ happened to me before that a CD or DVD gets scratched, and then I'm suddenly locked out of a game that I bought fair and square.

    3. I've also had more annoying mis-fortunes due to piss-poorly programmed copy-protection schemes, which suddenly decide that I'm a pirate when the original CD or DVD is right there in the drive.

    E.g., the old Gangsters was launched with a nasty bug: they assumed that noone will ever have more than one partition (WTF?) or more than one CD drive, ergo, the only legit place for a CD drive is "D:". If yours was, say, drive "E:", it would automatically assume that you're a pirate. But here it gets interesting: if it thought you're a pirate, it wouldn't even say so. It would just raise the difficulty through the roof, to the point where nothing you did ever succeeded, and all your gangsters were thrown in jail within 1-2 days. You wouldn't even know that you have a bug, or that you've been mistakenly flagged as a pirate, or anything. The game devs just took it upon themselves to virtually kick you in the nuts as righteous punishment.

    E.g., the Die Gilde ("1400 The Guild" for you 'merkins) used to have a massive CTD (crash to desktop) problem. The game would just close for no reason, when you expected it the least, without any error message or anything. The a dev comes and posts something along the lines of, "maybe the copy protection thinks you're running a CD emulator on that machine. It's supposed to do that, if it detects one." Now I didn't even have anything like that on my computer, but I'm left wondering. Was it a different bug in the game itself, or they had shot themselves in the foot with a buggy copy-protection?

    Incidentally, that opens another, very pragmatic, concern: who the heck gave them permission to decide what I'm allowed to run on that machine? The copy-protection didn't even check if you actually run the game from a CD emulator, just whether it finds one on your hard drive. While the former may be even hand-waved through as protecting their own investment, the latter is simply unbelievable. They decided unilaterally what other software I'm allowed to run on _my_ computer. Mind boggles. I don't use CD emulators, yes, but the precedent is set. What else can they try to forbid me to run? Games from a competing publisher, maybe? I mean, seriously, wtf?

    Etc. The practice of altering gameplay in some way or another if they think you're a pirate, is actually more widespread than you'd think.

    4. I have had once the mis-fortune of being left without a connection for a whole month and a half, by the retarded ISP and the lying retards at their tech support. (I could go into a whole whine, but let's just say that they _lied_ to me again and again for a whole month and a half.) So the prospect of games which need to phone home every 10 days kinda rubs me the wrong way. Can an ISP glitch leave me not just offline, but also unable to play single player games? I consider that to be a very pragmatic concern.
  • Re:Bastards (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tridus (79566) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @12:25PM (#23325292) Homepage
    5% here and there adds up. My father in law recently bought a 360 after being a PC gamer for years.

    Why?

    DRM. He had all kinds of problems with games refusing to recognize his CD drive, or stuff like Starforce crashing his machine, or all the other issues that these systems cause. He wasn't a pirate. He just wanted the games to work, and this stuff caused PC games to not work for him.

    Now he avoids the hassle and just plays console games.

    On any one game, its only a few people here and there. But think of how many games he would have bought over the next 10 years that he now won't. Think of all the other people every time it happens. Those numbers pile up into real money very quickly, and THAT is what is really killing PC gaming.
  • Re:My worry (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tenebrousedge (1226584) <tenebrousedge&gmail,com> on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @12:26PM (#23325306)

    DRM is always going to be around because companies are always going to try to protect themselves from unauthorized copying.

    And counterquote

    "...they're playing a losing game, and that trying to make digital files uncopyable is like trying to make water not wet." - B. Schneier
  • by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @12:31PM (#23325440)
    That's a lot like finding some of these things now.

    Find a Divx disc [about.com] with a movie on it? You're out of luck even if you have a player.

    There's also MovieCD [wikipedia.org], good luck getting those to work.

    Certain MMORPG's were shut down - imagine if they'd let their server source loose? Might be room for some interesting single-player implementations or even local-player setups.

    Then there's Blizzard, who actively fucked over [linux.com] people making local-type servers for games like Warcraft and Starcraft.

    DRM alone doesn't cause this either - a lot of earlier (Directx 4-5-6ish) games have a TON of problems getting set up on modern systems, or glitch horribly when you try to run them. There are also a few titles you can't even install because they try to access the hard drive directly and don't understand the FAT32 and NTFS formats.

    And consider the following ironic thought: what are the chances that, 10 years from now on your (10th? 15th? 25th?) anniversary, you'll be able to find a working VHS player to watch your wedding video?
  • by xero314 (722674) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @12:32PM (#23325462)
    Though others have pointed this out repeatedly, you really ought to understand the difference between purchasing and licensing. Software is not purchased, and hasn't been for many many years, but rather it is licensed for use.

    The is no first-license doctrine. Software is more akin to a service or a lease. In most cases you do not have the right to sublet rental property or to transfer licenses without explicit permission, as it is never your property.

    I am not saying you have to like it, just saying that first-sale does not apply.
  • Dial-up (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Mr. DOS (1276020) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @12:33PM (#23325476)
    I can see DRM methods like this absolutely sucking for dial-up users. Having to authenticate the game once every 10 days or so doesn't seem too bad (except for the fact that DRM is DRM no matter what way you look at it), but I shudder at the thought of having to connect - any maybe even stay online while I play, holding down my phone line - every time I want to play the game.

    (And don't say, "get highspeed" - there are many places, especially in rural Canada, where it's impossible to get anything close to decent highspeed for a decent price, even if the equipment to use it is readily available.)

    --- Mr. DOS
  • by SoundGuyNoise (864550) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @12:33PM (#23325492) Homepage
    1) Visit your local retailer. Find "Spore"
    2) Read all 6 faces of the packaging carefully. Does it say an internet connection is required, and does it clarify its intent with said internet connection?
    3) If the packaging does not clearly delineate the internet connection as described in the parent article, purchase it.
    4) Open the packaging, break all the plastic wrappers and such. Make it look like you tried.
    5) Return it in less than 24 hours and tell the clerk you do not have internet access, and therefore the game is unusable.

    If enough people do this, then the retailers *might* get the clue, and it *might* get back to the retailers, and they *might* reconsider a poor technique such as this.

  • Re:My worry (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dargon (105684) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @12:37PM (#23325578) Homepage
    > What happens 5 years from now if you want to play Spore...does the authentication still work?

    Screw 5 years, what if I install it on my laptop and want to play it while I fly from LA to London or any other starting and ending points???
  • Re:FFS (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @01:00PM (#23326060)
    Spore just got a solid black line drawn through it on my "To Buy" list as well.

    It's a shame as I was truly looking forward to this revolutionary game, but I'm not playing by their silly little DRM rules. I'm no pirate either (ninja for life!), so I'll simply go without. Bummer.

    This DRM crap has been proven over and over again to be completely and totally useless in combating piracy and has little if any effect on game sales. Stardock continues to top sales charts with it's Galactic Civilization series and Sins of a Solar Empire with absolutely zero DRM. Protecting your interests and profit are fine, but let's stop pretending that this crap does anything more then harass and annoy the paying customers.

    I refuse to pay to be annoyed and harassed, so my buck stops here until they rethink and remove this DRM system. Sorry Spore, it could've been great.

    How's that for real world lost sales figures? Sure beats out those laughable "piracy = lost sales" stats they like to wave around so often.
  • by yukk (638002) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @01:05PM (#23326144)
    That's why I pirated Bioshock to play and bought a boxed copy to have on my shelf. It's a great game and the team deserves that I buy a copy, but I also don't want to have to install even more DRM crap on my machine.
  • Re:My worry (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AndrewNeo (979708) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @01:11PM (#23326238) Homepage
    You -can- play Steam games offline. There's just enough people complaining about it not working for them that most people think it doesn't work for everyone.

    Personally I play a lot of Steam games, but still don't like the thought of a game that I bought on CD and -expect- to not require internet (Though I got HL2 over Steam, even if I bought retail media I knew it would have required Steam to play and therefore the internet) constantly to play it.

    Now, if they released Spore on Steam, I don't see it being as much of a problem. (And I'd be happier to buy it, too)
  • by cmfrolick (1022293) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @01:12PM (#23326254)
    My wedding video was severely decayed due to a bad tape, 5 years after my wedding. No worries there.
  • by eobet (959982) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @01:14PM (#23326288) Homepage
    Me and my father have probably together bought over 500 games since the days of the Commodore 64. Even back then, the pirates were better off:

    A store bought a game took up a whole tape and was slow to load. If pirated, you could fit dozens of games on a single tape and they all had fast, home brewed "turbo" loaders.

    The only difference today, is that the corporations have gotten greedier.

    Granted the investments may be bigger, but then again, the budget title and indie scene is thriving so well that that it's broken into the mainstream (with Microsoft and Nintendo offering indie titles for purchase online, and even then there's cell phones and the iPhone with their breed of titles).

    So I wonder, if we legitimate users get fed up of being treated like thieves by the companies, will the situation only get worse if we stop paying them?

    With the amount of money the industry (despite piracy) have generated since the 80s, the corporations have gotten so big and powerful, that they have the power to put the blame where they want, and DRM and the DMCA proves that they can essentially lobby consumers into a situation that I would like to call being a slave to capitalism.
  • Re:My worry (Score:5, Interesting)

    by moderatorrater (1095745) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @01:14PM (#23326304)
    I bought Galactic Civilizations 2 and Sins of a Solar Empire from Stardock, and I can tell you right now that it's not copy protection at all, it's just damn convenient. They don't have any copy protection on the cds (last I checked anyway) and they don't have any sort of online checking to see if it's valid (if you don't put in a serial number, it'll still install and play).

    What they do is provide you with advantages to buying instead of pirating. The first is that you aren't stealing the game, which is enough for most people. The second is that you can download the game at any time from any where. That's what eliminates the most common reason I download the torrent, because I've lost the CDs and/or cd key. The third is that they let you get the updates and they pack the updates with content. They rebalance, they add to the tech tree, they improve the graphics, tutorials, etc. Stardock just plain does it right and adds value to the purchase rather than trying to take value from the pirate. A pirated version of the game becomes, in essence, just a free demo since buying the game keeps giving you more.
  • Re:Why bother? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WK2 (1072560) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @01:19PM (#23326394) Homepage
    I think the GPP meant, "Why do the game development companies bother infecting their products with DRM?" But yes, The Pirate Bay and other such sites are an excellent solution to DRM.
  • by tambo (310170) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @01:28PM (#23326566)
    Game houses rarely "go out of business", they bleed for a couple of years then get blob-sorbed by a big media conglomerate like Vivendi or Sony, and you already know how those big guys love to "do good".



    RIP, Origin. :(

    And Maxis (Robosport!), and Infogrames (Alone in the Dark!), and Infocom (Zork!)...

    Equally sad is watching the steady decline of a formerly excellent game company... like id software.

    Come to think of it - back in my Commodore 64 days, I used to adore games like Archon, and Mail Order Monsters, and M.U.L.E. ... all created by this spunky little upstart with the initials "ECA"... otherwise known as Electronic Arts.

    Actually, I still play M.U.L.E. occasionally via CCS64. In fact, I'd rather play M.U.L.E. than any game by EA released in the last decade.

    Oh, sorry, we were discussing DRM crapware - carry on... ;)

    - David Stein

  • Re:Why bother? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WK2 (1072560) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @02:34PM (#23327644) Homepage
    There's a hole in your bucket, Dear Liza. http://www.bbspot.com/comics/Lab-Bratz/2007/08/2827.php [bbspot.com] However, that is only the case if you assume that DRM is a method to fight piracy, which is like saying a super soaker is a method to protect your property from burglars.

    Between piracy and DRM, one of them has a small chance of becoming irrelevant to industry.
  • Let them try this shit, someone will fix it for them. Problem solved.
    Two problems with this:

    First, you're still paying them to do this shit. I realize it's a no-win situation -- if sales go up, they claim people don't mind DRM. If sales go down, they claim they need more DRM to stop those filthy pirates.

    But it might be nice if we could actually generate some meaningful statistics, and actually vote with our wallets. Tricky, though, because we're short on options -- maybe because we didn't vote with our wallets?

    Second, how many resources have to be wasted building and cracking DRM? BR isn't "fixed", by the way -- both HD-DVD and BR are only really meaningfully cracked by a commercial product, and only as long as their servers stay up. iTunes was "fixed" for awhile now; I think it's broken again. (Oh, and iTunes does have alternatives, though it requires you seeking out bands who are done dealing with the record labels.)

    Unfortunately, aside from DVD, the only truly permanent fix is piracy. I can't be sure, if I buy a BR movie, whether I'll be able to rip it -- I can be reasonably sure, but never absolutely sure. The only way to be absolutely sure is to skip buying it and download the 4 gig mkv.
  • by Firehed (942385) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @04:52PM (#23329544) Homepage

    Wouldn't it be more effective if we supported all the games without DRM, and not the ones with DRM?

    No, it wouldn't. There are plenty of games without DRM out there, and a lot of them suck. I'm not drawing a conclusion or correlation between the two, but I'd rather see DRM-laded, otherwise-good games than a bunch of crap because publishers think they can get away with selling crap by simply skipping copy protection. You can't treat the lack of DRM a merit, but instead must treat the presence of DRM as a demerit.

    What I'm showing is that I'm willing to pay so long as doing so doesn't impair my ability to play the game, and that their attempts to impair my ability to play when I haven't paid is ineffective (this is of course on somewhat of a leap of faith, but has historically been true and will almost certainly be the case for something that will be as targeted as Spore).

    Piracy, whether it's being used as a demo that turns into a sale or not (usually not, let's be honest), still says that the product is generally desirable. It also says some of their audience are cheap-asses, some can't afford to pay, and some (like me) are clearly stating that they would buy it were it not for the invasive copy protection. Whether they use that information is their own responsibility, but they'd be remarkably ignorant at this point to not at least KNOW that a) copy protection is ineffective, b) some people will never pay no matter what, so stop wasting your damn time, and c) copy protection measures piss off customers or would-be customers.

    Of course, this is my stance on it. If they want to read it as my being immature, they can go ahead and do so. But that's just ignoring my feedback rather than using it to their advantage. If I don't agree with their terms, they don't get my money. If the only point of those terms that I disagree with is the copy protection, what does it say when I'm able to copy it anyways? It's an inconvenience for people who did pay, and trivial to get around for those that won't.
  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:24PM (#23330036) Journal
    Yeah, come back and tell me how you feel after Starforce burns your DVD burner up. While I don't condone piracy,as a pc repairman you'd be surprised how many gamer rigs I've worked on that were running like absolute crap only to find some game DRM was killing the rig. So I'd uninstall and clean up the crap,explain to the guy all the steps he'd have to go through if he wants to install this game in the future without boning his machine,only to get asked "Why would I go through all that when I could just get it off of(insert Kazaa,Limewire,etc)?". And while in the past I would say you are supporting continuation of the game series by a company who made a bad choice when fighting piracy,today i just don't know.


    This is the way I see it: Say you go into a coffee shop every morning for a coffee and donut to go with your morning cigarette. After going there for years and not having a problem,suddenly the cashier starts slapping you in the face every time you pay for your stuff. She says "sorry,but it is our policy since we found out others were stealing our donuts." Of course it doesn't matter that it isn't ME who was stealing their donuts,I'm the one getting slapped in the face at the checkout. Now how long do you think I should keep paying for the privilege of getting slapped when just down the street is one of those thieves who'll give me my coffee and donuts for free with a smile instead of a slap. I'd be pretty damned stupid to get slapped day after day after day,wouldn't you say?


    The point is in reality all retail stores have to deal with a certain amount of loss due to shoplifters. While they do little things like tags to cut down on it,they would never agree to strip searching the customers at the exit or kicking them in the balls to "teach thieves a lesson" because it would drive away all their business. When these comapnies put all this "phone home" crap or rig screwing Starforce garbage they have just lost any chance of selling their product to me. Would I pirate Mass Effect? No,but I like having the pretty boxes lined up on my gaming shelf. But after having to fix so many DRM broken gamer rigs for customers I can understand why some would. You can only be slapped in the face so many times before you just get tired of it.


    And before someone screams "but they didn't have to buy it!", we all know from the way the industry is shaping up we are going to have a handful of giant conglomerates doing 95% of all the AAA through C titles,while everyone else goes to those simple lunchbreak games like Popcap. So if you want anything other than "match three" styles games you'll have no choice but to go to one of the giants and they'll all have DRM up the butt. And I have no desire for a PS3 or other console,because I'm a keyboard and mouse guy and have been since the days of ROTT and Redneck Rampage. At least with music there are still plenty of choices if you don't want to go with RIAA crap. With games it is getting really hard to avoid the DRM. But that is my 02c,YMMV

  • by Behrooz (302401) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @08:57PM (#23332198)
    People with your attitude (I don't like the terms of sale, so I'll just take it) are the entire reason DRM exists. Honest gamers like me have securom installed by their purchased games because people like you will pirate them at the first opportunity.
    Yet I bet in your head, nothing is your fault, its all those evil bastard game devs making games you want so badly you will steal them rather than stick to your principles.


    Actually, DRM exists because legitimate consumers seem to be willing to put up with arbitrary pain-in-the-ass DRM restrictions. DRM will always be broken given sufficient demand for a product, so the only real effect that copy protection has is the imposition of additional annoyance to legitimate users. Brad Wardell of Stardock is probably the most authoritative voice on this topic:

    "The reason why we don't put CD copy protection on our games isn't because we're nice guys. We do it because the people who actually buy games don't like to mess with it. Our customers make the rules, not the pirates. Pirates don't count. We know our customers could pirate our games if they want but choose to support our efforts. So we return the favor - we make the games they want and deliver them how they want it. This is also known as operating like every other industry outside the PC game industry."

    He's on the right track, which is why Stardock games consistently sell well. I don't want to hassle with copy-protection, being able to backup CDs, or any other nasty shit that comes out of DRMware. If I'm aware that a program comes with something evil or makes me jump through hoops, I definitely won't purchase it, and thus the producer will get none of my money. It's no coincidence that Stardock.net and Steam account for the majority of my game purchases in the last year or two...

    So, I don't give a shit about people who pirate software. What ticks me off is DRM that wastes my time as a paying customer, simply because corporate kleptobots think they can get away with it. Stop encouraging them.

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it. -- E. Hubbard

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