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Linux Business Entertainment Games

LGP To Introduce Game Copy Protection 388

Posted by timothy
from the pay-to-pay-to-play dept.
libredr writes "Phoronix reports that Linux Game Publishing have developed an Internet-based copy protection which will be used in their upcoming commercial game port, such as Sacred: Gold. Any user will be able to install the game, but to launch it he will need to provide a valid key and a password, which are validated against LGP's servers. The key/password combination will allow a user to install the software on different computers. However, an Internet connection will be required even for a single-player game, which might be a hassle for some users. This scheme has enraged some of the beta testers and LGP CEO, Michael Simms, responded he regrets he has to introduce a copy protection scheme, but has to do this since a lot more people download their titles instead of buying them, to the point they even received support requests for pirated version. But will every pirated copy magically transforms into a sale, or will this scheme just annoy legitimate users and be cracked anyway? One really wonders."
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LGP To Introduce Game Copy Protection

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  • Failsafe (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rinisari (521266) on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @09:15AM (#23916371) Homepage Journal

    The CEO did say that, should anything happen to LGP, he and all of his dev team are authorized to distribute patches which remove the check.

  • by tjwhaynes (114792) on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @09:19AM (#23916425)

    The beta mailing list for Sacred had some discussion on the new key feature but I'd hardly call it an "enraged" exchanged. No chair throwing was observed. Any protection system is a thorny issue.

    Pretty much every commercial game I've bought for Linux has some sort of activation system, key lookup or similar. Most of them have some system for authenticating once online and then going offline thereafter. DropTeam even offered a way to generate an authorization on one machine and use it on a non-networked machine.

    Storm in a teacup.

    Cheers,
    Toby Haynes

  • Re:Huh? (Score:2, Informative)

    by dookiesan (600840) on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @09:42AM (#23916807)
    I knew people who played games all the time but never bought anything--not a single title. Same thing with music CD's a few years ago. These folks absolutely would buy _something_ if it were impossible to pirate, because they do buy console games which require much more work.
  • Re:Failsafe (Score:1, Informative)

    by Corwn of Amber (802933) <corwinofamber@noSpAm.skynet.be> on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @09:49AM (#23916941) Journal

    That's called a VLK-enabled unattended install.

    Or a pirate version.

  • Re:How is this bad? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @09:52AM (#23916991)

    The part that shows an ad when you log in to the system and the part that shows an ad when you're downloading pretty much anything, for starters.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @10:16AM (#23917465)

    I'm posting anon for obvious reasons, but I for one am exactly like what you describe. I pirate everything I can: movies, TV shows, games, applications, music, the works. If it's digital and I want it I will try my damnedest to pirate it, because not paying for it is better than paying for it from my perspective. Since I don't pay for that stuff, I can go use my limited funds on computer hardware, food, and other tangible items that I can't realistically pirate/steal. I won't even pretend it's the right thing to do, but so what? If I can increase my standard of living at no real detriment to myself, I'm going to do it.

    As for the matter at hand, given what I do I can definitely see why LGP is adding more protection. I'm exactly the kind of person they're shooting for; if the product is good enough and pirating it is too much trouble, I will go buy it. I've just recently purchased legit copies of Vista and the Penny Arcade game for this exact reason, they had enough protection that it wasn't worth the hassles of pirating those things (Vista: WGA, PA: Buggy crack). I would have still rather not paid for them, but ultimately not having anything to watch, play, or work on is boring and unproductive.

  • Mass Defect (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot@ ... m minus math_god> on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @10:26AM (#23917661) Homepage Journal

    Is this guy retarded? I'm not buying Mass Effect for this *exact reason*.

    Meanwhile, Sins of a Solar Empire, a DRM free game, enters it's 6th month on the top 10 selling games list.

  • by Serzen (675979) on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @11:06AM (#23918579)
    Some banks charge for all debit (as in enter your PIN to verify) transactions, some only if you make more than a handful (most commonly in my area, 6) per month. It's another of the filthy ways our financial institutions are able to soak us for fees that they haven't earned to try and make a quick buck off the customer. If your balance is getting low, and you make a couple of debit purchases, they can slap you with the transaction fee and try to bleed you into the red, in which case they get to slap you with overdraft fees, too.


    No banks--that I'm aware of--charge for the transaction if you choose to have it processed "as credit"; i.e., swipe the card and sign the receipt. In the case of most small retailers, all debit transactions are processed "as credit" because the banks/processing companies charge a higher percentage for direct debit as well as charging a higher fee for the PIN pad needed to input a PIN.

  • Re:Failsafe (Score:2, Informative)

    by bored_engineer (951004) on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @12:55PM (#23921249)
    From the article,

    For those with limited Internet access, the copy-protection scheme "makes allowances if you have no [Internet] connection, but after a while you must have a [Internet] connection once in a while to allow the game to keep playing."
    So they already thought of your problem.
  • by nonewmsgs (1249950) on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @01:10PM (#23921567)
    LGP's press release

    http://www.linuxgamepublishing.com/press_releases/200806241.txt [linuxgamepublishing.com]

    How our copy protection works

    Our copy protection is an online protection system. There is never a need to have a disc in the drive, or to have the hard copy of the game with you.

    When you install, the system will ask you for the key that came with the game, and then for a password, and, optionally, your email address.

    Once the key has been verified on the LGP servers, and the password registered then you are good to go, you never need to worry about the system again. It will call to the LGP servers each time the game starts, to verify its details. It does all this in the background. You do not need to enter anything when you start the game.

    If you wish to install the game on multiple personal machines, you may do so, using the same password and CD key. This is explicitly allowed.

    If you ever lose your password, you can request to have it emailed to you using the key management system, which is readily available. This is why we ask for your email address during registration, your email address will never be used for anything else.

    If your machine is not directly connected to the internet, or for some reason your internet connection does not allow direct connection to our servers, the game will allow you to continue to play for a certain amount of time before requesting you re-verify with the LGP key server. If your machine is unable to do this, for instance it does not have an internet connection, or it is firewalled in such a way as to block the connection, or perhaps you are on holiday and are nowhere near an ethernet socket for your laptop, then you may verify your game using a web browser or WAP phone browser. This can be used to indefinitely extend the time that a game may be played on a machine with no direct internet connection, as long as you have SOME internet access.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

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