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PC Games (Games)

Will DRM Exterminate Spore? 881

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the please-don't-make-me-insert-a-cd dept.
AC Dude writes "Will an anti-DRM flash mob that's determined to give EA's latest sim game Spore a rock bottom rating on Amazon.com sink the game, or will Spore evolve and shed the DRM? Is this the beginning of the end for DRM-laden games? 'Over the past few years we've focused a lot on the music industry and how it has attempted to use DRM to control distribution. While DRM in this market segment has been unpopular, anti-DRM campaigns have largely fallen flat when it comes to attracting widespread public attention because of the fragmented nature of music. Games are a much easier target given the monolithic nature of their release — campaigners only need to spread the word on a handful of specific online outlets to reach a wide audience. A quick read through the Amazon reviews of Spore seems to suggest that the negative comments are already putting people off from buying the game.'"
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Will DRM Exterminate Spore?

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  • It might. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:26PM (#24921035) Homepage Journal

    I really want this game but I will wait until a patch is available that turns off the DRM.
    Some would call it a crack but if I buy the game then I say it is a patch.
    A piece of code that improves the program is too my mind a patch.

    I have have had more problems using DRM software that I have paid for than I would ever have hunting down pirated copies.

    Companies have got to learn to stop treating paying customers and criminals.

  • The idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:29PM (#24921067)

    The server side community is an integral part of the game. What do they need DRM for? Are they so used to annoying their customers that they just added the DRM out of habit?

  • Re:It might. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Rachman (1358849) on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:31PM (#24921097)

    "I really want this game"

    Why? It's not fun. It's basically a tech demo pretending to be a game.

  • by Alonzo Meatman (1051308) on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:31PM (#24921103)
    All the reviews I've read about Spore have said the same thing - great toy, boring game. I'd think that would be far more likely to repel potential buyers than some scuffle over DRM.
  • Nope, neither. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:33PM (#24921127)

    Will an anti-DRM flash mob that's determined to give EA's latest sim game Spore a rock bottom rating on Amazon.com sink the game, or will Spore evolve and shed the DRM?

    Neither. This strategy will result in more people discovering that Amazon ratings are simply manipulated by both corporate shills or advocate shills, devaluing the ratings system itself.

    Hopefully, this will result in Amazon cracking down on shill reviewers, and modifying the system so that those who attempt to game the system in either the positive or negative direction have a substantially reduced score.

  • by Alaren (682568) on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:34PM (#24921143)

    Forget the DRM. Spore just fails to live up to its promising premise.

    Actually, my 5-year-old and 3-year-old love it. They create creatures in the creature creator and play the cell and creature levels over and over. I barely completed the tribal stage before I got bored with it.

    The fact is, PC games are the only digital medium I see taking a genuine hit from piracy, because pirating PC games doesn't change them (and sadly often makes them work better). People want their books to be books. They want their movies to play on their TVs. And everyone listens to music, even complete luddites. A technical person can make these things happen, but most people don't even know where to look for pirated stuff, let alone how to make it work.

    The skillset required to tweak a PC for gaming and really enjoy PC games overlaps significantly with the skillset required to play pirated games. Consequently, there are two ways to really turn a profit on PC games: make the game online-only, or release a mega-hit. And face it--if you release a mega-hit, people will accept the DRM. Grudgingly? Sure. But they'll accept it.

    Spore was supposed to be a mega-hit (and who knows, maybe it will be). But I would submit that Spore, while fun enough in itself, is basically five mediocre games crammed together and bundled with an amazing, stellar toolset. This makes it easier to complain about stuff like the intrusive DRM, but DRM is the least of Spore's worries, I think. Given the chance to do it again, I'd wait for Spore to hit the bargain rack at Wal-Mart.

  • by RyanFenton (230700) on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:35PM (#24921169)

    All the messageboards commenting on the game are discussing the issue - and most everyone realizes that they tend to move games from machine to machine over the years, or at least are forced to reinstall windows enough that a 3 install limit is FAR too limited a deal. Oh, and uninstalling the software anecdotally does NOT appear to give you 'back' installs of the game so far.

    I've worked making software protection schemes on occasion - from encrypted dongles with 'click counters' to sequentially mutating upgrade codes linked to custom hardware to send customers to extend licenses, all to make sure software was limited in terms of what users could do with it under license. This is one limit that really is too far for honorable customers.

    The biggest suspicion is that all this was done to minimize the chance and value of the reselling the game. I can see that perspective... but if it's at the cost of actually selling the game in the first place, or of pissing off future customers, they've made a terrible mistake.

    Ryan Fenton

  • by topham (32406) on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:39PM (#24921225) Homepage

    At one time the various methods of DRM used to be a nuisance. However, in the last few years they have become a hazard. Getting tired of this crap, if I ever have to fix another PC that gets screwed over by bullshit DRM (screwed up CD/DVD drivers, etc) I'll be filing a lawsuit.

  • Re:Been bitten (Score:5, Insightful)

    by domatic (1128127) on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:42PM (#24921249)

    Your emails would have more force if you explained you'd never buy it or even better will spend money with their competitors rather than pay them money. When you threaten to pirate, that is the only thing they are going to see or consider. Tagging yourself a pirate means you weren't apt to be a customer in their eyes anyway. You are also threatening to combat a wrong with wrong. The corporation may be faceless but a human probably reads your mail at some point and such a statement isn't morally impressive.

  • Re:It might. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by McBeer (714119) on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:42PM (#24921253) Homepage
    As with most things, a crack to remove the DRM has been out since day one. Enjoy.
  • Re:The idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thermian (1267986) on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:42PM (#24921257)

    The server side community is an integral part of the game. What do they need DRM for? Are they so used to annoying their customers that they just added the DRM out of habit?

    Because they are too big as a company for people with a clue to make policy decisions. The DRM choice will have been made by upper management who weren't really understanding the impact it will have.

    After all, they still think DRM is a good thing.

    The DRM has made me certain I will not be buying this game. Its no loss anyway, there are plenty of games out there, and if the concept is good, someone else will do something similar soon enough.

  • by MightyYar (622222) on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:45PM (#24921287)

    How the heck is EA gonna know whether he runs it or not?

  • by cliffski (65094) on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:50PM (#24921361) Homepage

    Excellent point. This is a very silly way to 'protest' about DRM. The best way to get companies to stop using DRM is to reason with them, contact them, and let them know how you feel. I can tell you 100% that no matter how many people would pirate my games, it wouldn't convince me to abandon DRM. What convinced me to do it was actually reading through what the people had to say when they emailed me on the topic.

    All rating the game badly will do is make amazon's ratings look unusable, piss off everyone who worked on the game (many of which oppose DRM no doubt), and reinforce the mentality that those who oppose DRM are doing so for childish reasons. Well-thought out, considered and intelligent emails to the publishers and developers will achieve a hundred times more, as will boycotting the game (both legal and illegal copies) and only purchasing DRM-free games.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:55PM (#24921425)

    DRM itself, won't kill Spore. The backlash from potential mainstream users is what will kill Spore.

    There will always be those gamers who will put up with it any new 'features' surrounding the next 're/evolutionary' game. Despite the DRM, 3 install limitation, they will always be there willing to put up with what ever the industry dishes. THEY are not the majority however. The majority, KNOW that there are so many hours in a day, and know just what games are on the market, and know what they are willing to put up with in terms of user rights, and money spent. THESE are the people posting to message forums, creating backlash that they view is past the boundary of user expectation. THEY will kill Spore before DRM does.

    I don't know about you, but $50 doesn't go as far as it used to. Your gonna tell me that this game is SO 'RE/EVOLUTIONARY', that it is a must buy despite all those restrictions, and more than potential hassle that might(see probably ...) come along down the road? And I'm not talking about the game here...(looking at you Microsoft)

    People have wised up, and expect the gaming market/distribution system to change. EA's Spore is the last desperate throw of an industry that doesn't want to let go. The sooner they realize the fans are on THEIR side, the sooner their profit margin will increase.

  • Re:Hey (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:55PM (#24921427) Homepage Journal

    Technically, you probably have no right to play the game on WINE.

    Strangely enough, I don't see that contract clause on the outside of the box so that I can give informed consent.

  • by Tridus (79566) on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:58PM (#24921465) Homepage

    I own Mass Effect PC. No, really. As in went to the store and bought a copy. The game is great.

    But the DRM? Not so much. A few days ago it just decided to stop working for a while, and instead of running would tell me that I wasn't authorized to run it. Seems odd, since not only was I running it just fine before that happened, the box is still sitting on my desk. Why am I not authorized to run a game that I paid for, while some guy who pirated it can run it just fine (and with shorter startup times due to the lack of SecuROM)? Nobody has ever really had a good answer for that other then "bend over and take it."

    Since then it started working again as inexplicably as it stopped working in the first place, but the whole thing put a bad taste in my mouth.

    Now, throw the three install limit on top of that, and I'm really not sure why I should ever give EA another dime. In fact I am sure, I'm not buying anything from EA again until they start acting like they care about paying customers more then pirates.

    Spore is the first on the "would have bought, but won't due to DRM" list for me. It won't be the last. EA can try to blame it on piracy all they want, but the fact of the matter is that they're doing more damage to their own sales then any pirate ever did.

  • Re:Been bitten (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:00PM (#24921493)

    Morality has nothing to do with business. Business operates purely on the principle of accumulating profit. Any argument which threatens that profit will pique the interest of the company in question.

  • by WCMI92 (592436) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:03PM (#24921537) Homepage

    An excuse to dump PC games completely. They already have pulled most of their sports franchise games (which pissed me off).

    Look for Bioware even to drop the PC.

    In the short term, dinosaur clueless behemoths like EA getting out of the PC gaming market will be bad, BUT keep in mind the installed base of PC's is STILL far greater than that of any console, that means opportunity for others to enter the market. There is opportunity there, and where there is opportunity, there will be those who will take advantage of it.

    EA et all pulling out of the PC arena will serve to give indy and start up gaming companies more oxygen.

    EA has been only barely relevant as a game publisher for some time in the PC arena anyway. Other than their sports sequels it's been forever since they've put out anything groundbreaking. Burdening their mediocre game lineup with DRM just makes it worse.

  • Science terrible? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rk (6314) * on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:04PM (#24921555) Journal

    Because it's supposed to be a game. If it were truly evolution-style, the player would have nothing to do but watch. Games that are made to be realistic are oftentimes dull as wet cardboard. That you design your creature I hope doesn't come as a shock to you, since every Spore tech demo Will Wright gave in the last two to three years showed exactly that.

    Personally, I really enjoyed it until I got to the space thing. I wasn't aware that I'd have to play a broken tech-demo version of Master of Orion to finish the game. I was in constant space combat using a control/camera system that I'm sure was designed to make space combat as painful as possible. And my race had been pretty much a peacenik during the whole history. None of that mattered anymore, apparently. The cell, creature, and tribal stages I thought were fun. The civ stage was okay. Once you get to space, just quit and go load up Sins of a Solar Empire instead.

  • Re:DRM? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Seakip18 (1106315) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:05PM (#24921563) Journal

    If it's anything like they are saying, it will be like Bioshock/Mass Effects DRM. I'm sure it's in more detail around here.

    Basically, on install, it calls home to check if the unique DVD you got has been installed more than three times. If so, it halts the installation process until you call EA and get it removed. The problem should be apparent.

    No internet? In this day and age, hard to believe but I'm sure someone out there had their internet being fixed, etc.

    Problems with EA's connection/equipment? A bit more believable

    What if EA doesn't believe you/you don't fulfill their requirements? No install for you.

    EA goes under/stops support for activation servers? Don't expect an official fix.

    Honestly, go find a cracked version, and install that. You did your part in paying for it.

  • Re:It might. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cheesey (70139) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:05PM (#24921565)

    Some Steam games have both the Steam DRM and something else. Bioshock, for example, came with SecuROM regardless of whether you got it from Steam or a physical shop. (This is why the demo didn't work on my PC, and this is why I didn't buy it.)

    Like the DRM used in games consoles, the Steam DRM is tolerable because it works properly, and the rules that it imposes are consistent across nearly all of the games (Bioshock being an exception). We do not see this "flash mob" rating all the XBox games as 1: why not? Because the DRM in that case doesn't get in the way.

    Many of the problems with DRM can be solved by standardisation, but the standard must not only involve a single DRM platform for all software, but also a single online service for authentication. This would be a trusted third party - like a bank. It would assure us that purchases will continue to function after the publisher goes out of business. Steam does both of these things quite well, although we are all assuming that Valve won't go bankrupt and sell its IP to a company with less of a clue.

  • Re:Hey (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bluemonq (812827) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:06PM (#24921581)

    No, no, no; you've got it all wrong. It's not your rights that are being managed; it's the company's.

  • Re:Hey (Score:5, Insightful)

    by XanC (644172) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:11PM (#24921653)

    Well, on the list of system requirements, I bet it says "Windows". I don't think it says "an implementation of the Windows environment".

    It's totally stupid for it not to work, but if you go by what's on the box...

  • by MightyYar (622222) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:12PM (#24921667)

    I think your solution, like other nice ideas, requires too many humans to change :)

    For other well-known examples, see communism and abstinence.

  • by truthsearch (249536) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:14PM (#24921701) Homepage Journal

    If you're bored after the first two stages, why would you move on to the third? A game is supposed to be fun. If it's not fun relatively quickly, there's no point in playing it.

    Maybe you're a masochist, but apparently he's not.

  • Re:The idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by _xeno_ (155264) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:17PM (#24921731) Homepage Journal

    The DRM has made me certain I will not be buying this game.

    No kidding. I'm going to skip Spore due to the DRM.

    Its no loss anyway, there are plenty of games out there, and if the concept is good, someone else will do something similar soon enough.

    And this, right here, is really the heart of the matter. It's a freaking game. Entertainment. It's not a necessity. I don't need Spore. I may want to play it, but if they make it painful to use, then forget it. It's not like I really lose anything. I'll just do something else.

    When will publishers realize that? It's not like we have to play their game. It's just entertainment, and there are a million other options out there. I'm not going to blow money on something just to be treated like a criminal.

  • Re:Hey (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:25PM (#24921883) Homepage Journal

    Listing supported configurations is one thing, and honestly, I don't expect them to care whether it runs under Wine. That's a totally different issue of whether you're legally allowed to try to run it under Wine, as the GP poster is claiming.

  • by BDaniels (13031) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:29PM (#24921955) Homepage

    I was also looking forward to the release of Spore, until I heard that they were using SecureRom.

    I'm not installing an app that causes that much headache just for one game. I might look at it when it releases on the 360, but the bad reviews I'm seeing are making it less likely. And if they hadn't used SecureRom, I'd have bought it on release day, without waiting for reviews.

    I don't know how long it's going to take for publishers to understand this simple truth:

    Copy protection pisses off the paying customer, and makes the pirate laugh.

    Let me make that clear for MBA's - the only people inconvenienced by your protection are the people who paid for the game!

    From a gamer who buys all his games, and is old enough to remember when Electronic Arts was a great company. "Can a computer make you cry?", indeed.

  • by Lord Ender (156273) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:30PM (#24921965) Homepage

    So was Sim City a toy or a game? And did it matter?

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:31PM (#24921967)

    Random question: what's the difference between a well-thought out email sent directly to the publisher, and a well-thought out comment posted to Amazon?

    Random answer: it's much more difficult to find the address of someone who cares at the publisher.

    However, I like the approach. I will not buy Spore (partially because of the bad reviews, but also partially because of the DRM), but there is no easy way for me tell EA why I didn't buy it. Leaving a comment is a simple way for me to tell EA that piracy has nothing to do with the game doing badly - Securom, on the other hand, has quite a bit to do with it.

  • Bingo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Moraelin (679338) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:37PM (#24922059) Journal

    Neither. This strategy will result in more people discovering that Amazon ratings are simply manipulated by both corporate shills or advocate shills, devaluing the ratings system itself.

    Bingo.

    The waking call for me was when I stumbled upon the preorder page for Gothic 3, mostly out of sheer surprise that it existed already and it showed an unrealistically close release date. Back then it wasn't even in _alpha_. Even the official site and press releases had nothing more than a couple of "look what the engine can do" screenshots. There was no information about the story, the world, or anything. And again, nobody had a playable demo yet. Probably not even the devs, yet. So it seemed way premature to even have a preorder page.

    Well, a few fanboys had already taken upon themselves to post glowing reviews. If you listened to them, it was the greatest game ever. Superb gameplay, the best fantasy story since Tolkien himself, no bugs, the best graphics ever, etc.

    Needless to say, when the game was released a year later, it was nothing like that. I suppose the other categories are subjective, but let's just say that the "no bugs" part was waay off the mark. And the "a hamster can kill godzilla if it hits first, because it'll then keep interrupting the other" gameplay way at least for me a huge turnoff.

    I can't remember the exact games, but I remember I looked at another couple of yet unreleased games the same day, out of morbid curiosity. Yep, you guessed, the fanboys or maybe shills (take your pick) had already written tons of glowing reviews.

    So anyone who takes the Amazon ratings as anything more than comedy relief, is bound to have a bit of the surprise sooner or later. Probably sooner.

    Mind you:

    1. The situation isn't Amazon-only, nor games-only. When you give zealots, fanboys, trolls, and shills, who already exist to force their opinions and views upon everyone else, a forum whose purpose is just that... well, what did anyone expect?

    2. Even without that, the amount of sheer stupidity in user reviews online is either hillarious or worth losing faith in humanity. I haven't yet decided which. (And I mean, seriously, stuff like, for a soundproofed Sennheiser headset, where the whole _point_ is that they massively dampen outside noises, someone hat taken the time to write a review to the effect of, "OMG, they're crap! If you put them on, you can't hear anything else, not even the doorbell or phone! Stay away from them!" And that's actually one of the milder examples of online stupidity.)

    3. The whole point about tastes is that they're subjective. What may be TEH GRATEST GAME EVAR ;) for me, might be the most boring thing ever for you. I can see a point in trusting a reviewer or forum member who you've already established that he has the same tastes as you. Or maybe taking a reputable source and taking just the facts and ignoring his opinions of them. (E.g., "ok, he hated it because it's turn based, I like turn based, sound interesting.") But trusting some random guy online to tell one what to buy? Why? How stupid is that?

    So, on the whole, that yet another group of zealots has taken it upon itself to pollute that already-polluted resource... well, it's a bit like spitting down the hole of an outhouse. Amusing, but won't make the contents any worse than they already were.

    Hopefully, this will result in Amazon cracking down on shill reviewers, and modifying the system so that those who attempt to game the system in either the positive or negative direction have a substantially reduced score.

    I'm not opposed to the idea, but I'd wonder about how would it work. How do you distinguish between, basically:

    A. Some hypothetical corporate shill, giving everything from company X top marks just because he was paid to.

    B. Jenny Gamer who likes to play with dolls, bought The Sims because it sounded just like that, and genuinely liked it. And then bought the 7

  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:39PM (#24922097)
    The argument isn't that it offsets the loss from a few pirated games - it's that it prevents/hinders mass-scale piracy-for-sale of the game. So long as there are people out there willing to _SELL_ pirated copies of software, there will be DRM to try and hinder their efforts.
  • by IronChef (164482) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:41PM (#24922115) Homepage

    A hugely anticipated game ships with the most oppressive DRM yet. Aside from a handful of educated gamers not buying it, the backlash consists of Amazon comment spam... and this is supposed to be the end of DRM? It looks more like just the beginning.

    Tell you what, when a hugely anticipated triple-A title from an outfit like EA ships with no DRM, why don't we call THAT the beginning of the end.

  • by tuaris (955470) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:44PM (#24922157) Homepage
    Spore HAD the potential to be the best selling game of all time, but of course something had to destroy that chance. DRM is that something. I for one, will not be purchasing Spore. It's just amazing, do people do this sort of stuff on purpose?
  • by Simon (S2) (600188) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:44PM (#24922167) Homepage

    Excellent point. This is a very silly way to 'protest' about DRM. The best way to get companies to stop using DRM is to reason with them, contact them, and let them know how you feel.

    So, how are your sales going now?

  • Re:It might. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tweenk (1274968) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:44PM (#24922169)

    This patch does not turn off the DRM in Russian, Chinese, Brazilian in Polish editions. How is this different from discriminating against people based on nationality? Why am I fucked because there happen to be many pirates in my country?

  • Watch the wording (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phorm (591458) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:44PM (#24922171) Journal

    I intend to e-mail the publisher explaining that I would rather pirate it than pay them money thanks to their greed.

    It says "I would rather pirate than pay"

    But it doesn't say "I am going to pirate"

    The argument here is that they're not going to pay for it anyways, but it doesn't say that they would rather just not play the game at all VS pirating it.

    Compare it to a statement like "I'd rather swim with hungry sharks than shop at your company again"

    It doesn't mean you will (or want to) swim with live sharks, just that it's preferable to shopping at company X.

  • Re:Been bitten (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hyppy (74366) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:45PM (#24922181)

    Tagging yourself a pirate means you weren't apt to be a customer in their eyes anyway.

    No, no, no. The music, film, and now game industries have all agreed that every pirate could have been worth at least 10 sales. 20 if said "pirate" is an elderly grandmother.

  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:50PM (#24922271) Homepage Journal

    I bought Spore, and I'm returning it as defective or suing for misleading advertising - the game is absolutely NOTHING like the multiple years of hype made it out to be. YOU CAN'T EVEN SAVE YOUR IN-GAME PROGRESS AFTER REACHING THE SPACE STAGE, that's why the freaking game never ends! Sure, you keep your created content, but you don't get the chance to restart from where you left off (except in the Civilization stage.)

    The vehicle creator, while nice, doesn't do everything as-advertised, and makes you do weird workarounds for attaching some parts that makes absolutely no sense.

    Spore wis nothing more than several years of misleading advertising. I'll keep the Creature Creator, since that's enjoyable enough and comes with all the parts. I can model little things all day. But to play through a game where I can't save my progress after reaching the highest level of the game is damned annoying.

    This has totally turned me off from any and all EA-related games. I thought it was over the first time when EA acquired Origin, now it's really over.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:52PM (#24922297)

    I bought both a PS3 and a Wii last year, which got me off of PC gaming after being hardcore UT/UT2k4 for years (20-40hrs/wk).

    Your hands and wrists will thank you for that. Playing UT marathons with a mouse and keyboard is one of the top offenders and a major league cause of developing Repetitive Stress Injury to your hands. The sooner you quit UT cold turkey and never go back, the sooner your hands can start healing from the damage. They'll never come back 100% however. I've been UT-free for almost three years now, and my hands have healed up only about 70%.

  • Re:It might. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SleepingWaterBear (1152169) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:53PM (#24922305)

    Many of the problems with DRM can be solved by standardisation, but the standard must not only involve a single DRM platform for all software, but also a single online service for authentication. This would be a trusted third party - like a bank. It would assure us that purchases will continue to function after the publisher goes out of business. Steam does both of these things quite well, although we are all assuming that Valve won't go bankrupt and sell its IP to a company with less of a clue.

    Standardized DRM would do nothing to fix the primary problem with DRM, which is that it doesn't work. If you standardize DRM it will be no time at all before we have standardized cracks. Besides, there's no particular reason to assume that some third party will be more stable or reliable than game publishers.

    Given that their basic business model is broken (providing a service that makes products more difficult to use while failing to prevent piracy) I would in fact go so far as to say that any company like Steam is unlikely to be around in a year or two. The solution for game companies is to find a way to sell something other than the program itself which only they can provide. Given the degree to which games are becoming integrated with the internet, this isn't such an impossible idea.

  • by PoderOmega (677170) on Monday September 08, 2008 @02:01PM (#24922399)
    Wait a few more years when you've re-installed windows a couple times or got a new PC. Good luck re-installing it the 4th time.
  • Re:Been bitten (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Guysmiley777 (880063) on Monday September 08, 2008 @02:03PM (#24922427)
    If you're really serious and upset about something, send a snail-mail letter to the CEO of the company calmly and reasonably stating your complaint.

    THAT may actually get some attention. Email is just too easy to shift-delete.
  • by init100 (915886) on Monday September 08, 2008 @02:10PM (#24922523)

    piss off everyone who worked on the game

    They should be clever enough to understand that the criticism is against the DRM, not the game itself.

    many of which oppose DRM no doubt

    Then they should not take the campaign personally, but understand that it is aimed at their publisher.

    But anyway, I guess you are right. For example, Gas Powered Games released a patch to Supreme Commander a fairly short time after the release that removed the copy protection. I really liked this move, and it contributed significantly to my decision to buy the game.

    reinforce the mentality that those who oppose DRM are doing so for childish reasons.

    I read a few of the "reviews", and they were not childish. They were reasonable complaints against a draconian DRM scheme, fairly comparing the so-called "purchase" with a rental scheme. What's childish about wanting to play the game even after EA stops supporting it? I still sometimes play games ten years old.

    Well-thought out, considered and intelligent emails to the publishers and developers will achieve a hundred times more

    I would surely do that, if I thought that it had any chance of actually being read. But unfortunately, I don't think that it would, so why waste my time?

    as will boycotting the game (both legal and illegal copies)

    That's what I do. I really looked forward to Spore, but the DRM is a showstopper. I won't buy the game until it is put in the bargain bin for $10, or (extremely unlikely) they remove the DRM. I will also not pirate the game.

    and only purchasing DRM-free games.

    Unfortunately, those are few and far between. I can accept games like Supreme Commander, which are initially copy-protected, but which have the protection removed by the game developers themselves afterward (as the DRM is usually demanded by the publisher, not the developers).

  • by c0d3g33k (102699) on Monday September 08, 2008 @02:12PM (#24922557)

    Childish or not, it's attention getting, and sometimes that's what it takes to drive the message home.

    I've tried carefully crafted and reasoned emails, and even 'traditional' letters using paper and a stamp. I've written about why I didn't purchase the game (DRM), why I would enjoy playing it, and how much I would enjoy giving them my money if a mutually acceptable transaction were possible. I've praised companies in writing for doing something I support (reasonable protection, Linux support) and crediting that for my purchase. I've explained how I've been buying computer games since buying King's Quest for my Tandy 1000 and have several large bookshelves full of game boxes I've accumulated over the years. I've explained why my purchase of new games suddenly dwindled to nearly nothing as a result of DRM and why I support companies such as Introversion who don't use draconian DRM. I've explained why I haven't stopped playing games because I passed out of the target demographic and how I have more liquid assets available now than when I was young and poor. I've tried it all, and it has all fallen on deaf ears.

    I've been thanked for my thoughtful comments, but educated in the business realities that make my position untenable, though regrettable. I've been accused of being irrelevant, since I'm only one person and what does the loss of my $50 mean anyway - there are plenty of people who buy the game so who am I to question things. Hell, I've been accused of pirating just because I stated that I won't purchase a game due to DRM or other factors, since I must obviously be incapable of resisting the impulse of playing a hot game (eg. Bioshock) because no gamer would willing avoid playing (so if I didn't buy it, I must have pirated it).

    In other words, the reasoned approach has fallen on deaf ears, at least based on the fact that DRM and such has become increasingly more draconian as sales continue to dwindle for PC games.

    It's very difficult for even a motivated individual to have any impact because even statements like "I'll never buy one of your products again as long as you continue this undesirable practice" have no real meaning. What do I matter to the bottom line?

    I've concluded that organized efforts are more likely to get attention because the potential impact is much greater.

    Question the methods if you will, but I think people have figured out that organizing is the only way to get companies to listen.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Monday September 08, 2008 @02:20PM (#24922719) Journal

    But you seem to be forgetting that buying congress critters seems to be the FIRST thing they go for,no matter what the data says! Do you HONESTLY think that if we got a massive boycott going that EA would actually BELIEVE that folks weren't buying their precious IP because of their DRM crap(and for the record I planned to buy Spore but now I won't. Limited activations on something I paid for is bullshit). No,what they would do is go to congress and say "They must be stealing the game from those Darknet things we have been hearing about! Or they are so busy stealing the games that don't use our excellent 'Secure Starforce Buttraper V.2' that we are losing sales. Lock down the tubes and make Super DRM mandatory!" And the congress critters will go "Ohhh! How much money? Really?" and we will have yet another draconian copyright law.

    So steal the game,don't steal the game. The outcome will sadly be the same. The only thing we can really do is to scream bloody murder on every site like this one and Amazon ratings in the hope we give enough ammo for the developers to go to their bosses and say "This DRM crap is hurting our bottom line" because just as the record companies still think their numbers are going down due to piracy and not that everyone thinks the pre-packaged sh*t band o' the week ain't worth having,so will the game companies never believe that their new "Secure Starforce Buttraper V.2" is the reason gamers are avoiding their precious IP like a dose of the clap. But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

  • Re:It might. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SleepingWaterBear (1152169) on Monday September 08, 2008 @02:21PM (#24922739)

    Well, steam is fine if you always have a good internet connection, so that you can make quick downloads, and don't miss the bandwidth it uses calling home. More importantly, DRM just doesn't work. People find ways around it, distribute these on the internet, and only people who pay for the product are inconvenienced. I can find and download cracked versions of all of Valve's games using bittorrent faster than you can get them from Steam.

    Customers like you are happy with Steam because you have good internet connections and the DRM doesn't work, but this doesn't make it a good compromise. So maybe Steam will survive as an online game retailer in spite of the DRM, but holding it up as an example of successful DRM is ridiculous.

  • by TravisO (979545) on Monday September 08, 2008 @02:21PM (#24922747) Homepage

    It both surprised and made me proud of my fellow consumers that so many people do care about the unacceptable DRM being used in this game.

    EA marketing can spin it all they want, but they will kill their DRM servers the moment:
    1. The game no longer makes money
    2. The server gets a non compatible "upgrade"
    3. EA gets bought out by another company
    4. EA smartens up and realizes DRM was just a bad idea that only punishes the legal users (and if this happens too late, nobody will be create an EA patch to the game)

    What if I wanted to still play Spore in 2026, that's not as unrealistic as it sounds because as you read this I'm playing many 15yr old PC games still. There are many DOS games I still enjoy (legally) to this day in DOSBOX.

    What EA needs to realize is pirates aren't their demographics, some people will just steal the game, protection won't change them either way. Meanwhile, intelligent consumers like myself, who actually had an interest in the game, will not either boycott or get the game using more nefarious means. Mind you I am an active consumer, I've purchase two new PC games in the last 6 weeks.

    Finally keep in mind there's another reason behind this kind of DRM: to prevent the sale of used copies, Half Life 2 did the same thing when they tied the game to Steam. I'll bet the shirt on my back if you were to call EA and say you bought the game used and want a 4th authorization, they'll turn you down. It's both a moral and a technological abuse.

    Just say no to rent-ware masquerading as a product!

  • Re:DRM? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Koiu Lpoi (632570) <koiulpoi@gCOLAmail.com minus caffeine> on Monday September 08, 2008 @02:30PM (#24922951)
    Also considering the game was cracked and out for download several days before it hit stores, for no pain and no price, it's no wonder people are fed up. Once again, you get better support from the pirates than EA.
  • by mopower70 (250015) on Monday September 08, 2008 @02:36PM (#24923057) Homepage
    I respectfully disagree. Everyone knows Amazon's rating system is usable and worth reading already. Game designers know that and so do customers. Writing a well written poor review panning your game because of this feature is like writing an open letter to the manufacturer. If I was in charge of a product that received that much well thought out, well written bad press on such an influential site as Amazon, I'd be looking for some heads on a platter.
  • by c0d3g33k (102699) on Monday September 08, 2008 @02:54PM (#24923287)

    I guess you meant "servers go OFFLINE". That's what the preview function is for.

    Otherwise, great post. Speaking with your money is the only way to communicate with corporations, but what has been lacking is an attention-getting voice that explains why sales have been lost. As I mentioned above, an individual communicating directly to a company isn't sufficient to register as more than an outlier. Communicating to other potential purchasers in a respected venue such as Amazon's comments is a valid way to magnify one's impact, IMHO.

    (And to deflect any sniping from the peanut gallery - yes I do consider Amazon's comments and reviews 'respected'. I've found them to be quite reliable for deciding whether to purchase an item. I've rarely regretted my purchases when I've taken the reviews seriously, and I've learned my lesson when I've ignored them. Perfect? No. But approached with the proper level of B.S. detection, they can give you a very good assessment of a particular product.)

  • by Roxton (73137) <roxton@NoSpAM.gmail.com> on Monday September 08, 2008 @02:57PM (#24923349) Homepage Journal

    The best way to stop companies from using DRM is for consumers to organize and make demands of companies. It's silly that we had to pass a law in the US in order to make companies allow cell phone numbers to transfer. Boycotting is expensive, wasteful, and fails basic game theory. It should be possible to negotiate this stuff.

    Consumer groups negotiate with industry groups negotiate with labor groups -- every interested party has a bargaining chip.

    The challenge is figuring out how to organize.

  • by init100 (915886) on Monday September 08, 2008 @03:00PM (#24923385)

    In order to fight DRM you need to convince people of some real advantage that not having DRM will have to the Legal Copies

    How about this: If Spore didn't have DRM, I would have bought it in an instant. But since it has DRM, especially a particularly draconian DRM scheme, there is not one chance in hell that I'll buy it. I'll not pirate it either, since that would tell EA that I couldn't stand abstaining from playing it, which I surely can.

    So in my case, the DRM equals a lost sale, nothing more, nothing less.

  • Re:It might. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by harl (84412) on Monday September 08, 2008 @03:04PM (#24923451)

    Read your license agreement again. You rented the game. You didn't even get a discount for buying a crippled copy. They can cut you off at any time.

    Steam is the furthest you can get from acceptable DRM. Please see the stories on here about people loosing their content because the company they bought it from decided to shut things down.

  • by mxs (42717) on Monday September 08, 2008 @03:07PM (#24923505)

    Excellent point. This is a very silly way to 'protest' about DRM.

    Indeed. Of course, the OP just posted a link, without giving any justification -- he might not want to protest the DRM at all.

    The best way to get companies to stop using DRM is to reason with them, contact them, and let them know how you feel.

    Been there, done that. EA does not give a fuck. EA's "customer service" representatives give even less of a fuck. There are more reasonable people out there, and there are more reasonable companies who are getting it right from the get-go, too. Those do deserve to be supported.

    I can tell you 100% that no matter how many people would pirate my games, it wouldn't convince me to abandon DRM. What convinced me to do it was actually reading through what the people had to say when they emailed me on the topic.

    What made you choose DRM in the first place ? Was it just a knee-jerk reaction and marketing department mathematics ? Nowadays there are several companies trying to sell DRM technologies (and succeeding) -- I wonder what their marketing pitch is.

    All rating the game badly will do is make amazon's ratings look unusable,

    Why ? If the rating is driven by the customer having a genuine gripe with the product and the way the company deals with its customers, then a bad rating does seem to be a perfectly valid way to represent that -- especially considering that you /have/ to deal with the company after buying the product -- say when you upgraded three of your computer's components.

    piss off everyone who worked on the game (many of which oppose DRM no doubt),

    Quite frankly : good. Not to slight Will Wright here, but the way the game is delivered is also part of the experience you deliver. An excellent movie with crappy cutting, post-production, or delivered on bad film stock deserves to get bad ratings, too -- even though the acting may have been spectacular.

    Amazon allows you to post comments. You can elaborate on why the game got one star and not five.

    and reinforce the mentality that those who oppose DRM are doing so for childish reasons.

    I can't subscribe to that notion. Besides, if the company delivering the game feels I am childish and should not be taken seriously -- good riddance. I can spend my money elsewhere, at a company that will actually treat me with respect.

    Well-thought out, considered and intelligent emails to the publishers and developers will achieve a hundred times more,

    In some cases, it may. In the VAST MAJORITY of cases, your mails will be filed away under "handled customer support queries", or thrown straight in the wastebin. We had this discussion with EA on Mass Effect. Guess what. Nothing changed. They just don't care. They know the gripes, they know the reasons for them, I assume they have intelligent people there who understand the issues having been brought forward. The only thing I can conclude from their actions is that they don't care.

    as will boycotting the game (both legal and illegal copies) and only purchasing DRM-free games.

    That will actually help. (I can't see how boycotting illegitimate copies helps in this case, but it's not a good thing to do for other reasons)

  • by Firehed (942385) on Monday September 08, 2008 @03:19PM (#24923679) Homepage

    Yes, and once again my whole point was that it's damn near impossible to get in touch with the appropriate people at EA, whereas support@someindiedeveloper.com could plausibly get forwarded along to the next cube over (the lead developer).

    It would be very ignorant to assume that nobody at EA reads slashdot or shops at Amazon. It only takes one guy to start the "hey, did you see this?" chain, but when you're dealing with a company the size of EA, this has to be a fairly major thing, rather than the irate ramblings of one non-customer to the support department.

    Of course, it's perfectly conceivable that they just don't care. A former employer doesn't list any of their prices on their website, and despite all of the people bitching about it through the contact form on the site, management had their minds made up. I doubt a lot of sales were lost as most of the people complaining couldn't have come close to affording the product, but it would have at least saved the sales team a whole lot of wasted time and effort by allowing people to disqualify themselves rather than wasting hours on the phone with the sales guys who had real prospects to chase down.

    Obviously the sales model is a bit different between a $50 game and a five-figure piece of software, but my experience has almost universally been that the bigger companies get, the less care about what customers have to say. At least for games, that's a pretty significant mistake to make.

  • by Anachragnome (1008495) on Monday September 08, 2008 @03:32PM (#24923857)

    Fuck that. I dislike DRM as much as you do.

    But, I fucking HATE disinformation regardless of where it comes from, more so then DRM. Even for a just cause. You're simply dishing out your OWN recipe of propaganda, fucking jerk.

    I prefer to speak with my money, or in this case, the lack of it.

  • by electrictroy (912290) on Monday September 08, 2008 @03:40PM (#24923979)

    BACK TO TOPIC: Look at all the negative reviews on amazon (link) : http://www.amazon.com/review/product/B000FKBCX4 [amazon.com]

    I didn't understand the issue until I read this: "You get three installs. That's it. No install returned for uninstallation, or anything else. You install it three times, then you're out $50." I agree one-hundred percent. As a gamer who still plays ancient games like Red Storm Rising or Pirates or Populous, the last thing I want is a game that will stop working after I upgrade to my next computer (about two years time).

    I want something to keep forever, not a rental.

  • by guidryp (702488) on Monday September 08, 2008 @03:53PM (#24924161)

    Bottom line a forced phone home install is bad, very bad. I won't buy any product that does this. Because this is a rental, not a purchase, you are using your product at the whim of the publisher and if the publisher in future decides the game is past profitable, no more installs for you.

    If you only play games as the flavor of the moment, this might not be an issue for you. If you actually like to play your old games sometime, it is a show stopper.

    I have Total Annihilation installed on my computer. I bought this 10 years ago and Cavedog is defunct. If it had Phone Home DRM, it would be a dead game. I also played Baldurs Gate 2 again last year. The company is still in business, but what are the odds they would still be supporting the DRM server on this one too?

    Just look at Yahoo/Microsoft and their music DRM servers. Trying to shut them down even though they are still in business.

    Phone home DRM is a plague. It should be fought on all fronts.

  • by spire3661 (1038968) on Monday September 08, 2008 @04:07PM (#24924345) Journal
    Copyright infringement needs some defending. Companies fight over the bottom line only, while the customers are saddled with morals. Its sad that companies can twist the law anyway they choose, but when an individual does it, its bad. Whats that old saying "Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god"
  • by AmberBlackCat (829689) on Monday September 08, 2008 @04:09PM (#24924387)
    I don't know about computer games, but I think it is perfectly legitimate for my Amazon rating for CD's to be affected by DRM. I basically buy compact discs to feed my iPod. So any disc that won't play in the computer is of little value to me, and deserves a 1-star rating, especially since they don't always mention that it's not technically a compact disc.
  • Game longevity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JMZero (449047) on Monday September 08, 2008 @04:31PM (#24924721) Homepage

    Completely agree. I've installed Starcraft probably 20 to 30 times. More if you count multiplayer "spawn" installs and what not.

    (And I've bought it 3 times now. Not because it quit working, but because I lost the discs once, and once gave my copy away.)

    Spore is intended as a huge, open-ended game with user-created content and lots of gameplay "meat": the kind of game that should be lasting 5 or 10 years. 3 installs isn't going to work for that for a lot of people. Not just people who upgrade a lot or move around or crash a lot - just regular people who like the game for more than the first year or two - are going to get bitten by this.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2008 @04:45PM (#24924969)

    What about just not playing it at all?

  • Re:It might. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KDR_11k (778916) on Monday September 08, 2008 @05:03PM (#24925215)

    Except it's their day job, they're in it for the money since they have lives to pay for. Taking the moral high ground doesn't put food on the table and really it wouldn't have been the sacrifice anyway considering they could just patch it.

  • by c0d3g33k (102699) on Monday September 08, 2008 @05:28PM (#24925601)

    as will boycotting the game (both legal and illegal copies) and only purchasing DRM-free games.

    That will actually help. (I can't see how boycotting illegitimate copies helps in this case, but it's not a good thing to do for other reasons)

    Boycotting (a.k.a. refusing to purchase) the retail version makes an economic statement.

    Boycotting (a.k.a. refusing to acquire and play) the black market, non-retail, cracked, non-purchased version makes an ethical statement.

    Demanding ethical behavior on the part of a company when it comes to arriving at a mutually acceptable exchange of value is difficult when behaving in a way that demonstrates lack of ethics.

    Or to put it another way, boycotting illegitimate copies enhances the value and effectiveness of the economic boycott.

    And to complete the scenario:

    Purchasing the retail version then acquiring the illegitimate version to circumvent unacceptable properties of the retail version borders on the insane. It makes neither a positive economic statement or a positive ethical statement. It validates and perpetuates unethical behavior on both sides of the transaction.

  • by Lord Bitman (95493) on Monday September 08, 2008 @05:37PM (#24925723) Homepage

    "EA's DRM does nothing to prevent torrents. Cracked copies were released even before the official game. This proves that DRM is necessary."

    read that over a few times.

  • Re:Hey (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PhilHibbs (4537) <snarks@gmail.com> on Monday September 08, 2008 @05:59PM (#24925993) Homepage Journal

    No right to run it on Linux? Like you have to be granted that right by someone? Do I have the right to use it as a coaster, a frisbee, or a shaving mirror? Where are these rights listed? Your attitude that they have the power to grant or restricts our rights is fundamentally flawed, you've fallen right into their trap and assumed that copyright holders are our benevolent dictators.

  • by Joebert (946227) on Monday September 08, 2008 @06:17PM (#24926197) Homepage
    So the games creator uses EA as a publisher because he likes to watch the people who play the game get screwed over, is that it ?

    Come on, if you kill the distribution channels how are you supposed to get the game ?

    If you don't have muscle men making sure the game creators get paid, you're not going to have any good game creators left after awhile.
  • by JCSoRocks (1142053) on Monday September 08, 2008 @06:23PM (#24926257)
    After seeing a few stories about EA support like this [crymod.com] I have my doubts about whether or not you'd get any additional installs or just how pain free that process would be.

    How many do you get / how often do you have to call before they cut you off? I rebuild my machine pretty regularly for one reason or another (hardware upgrades, "cleaning up", playing with different configurations...) and I generally reinstall all of my favorite games immediately after I do. I don't want to have to jump through a hoop every time I want to install a game I purchased. It's like calling GM and asking them if I can drive my car every morning after the first 1,000 times I've driven it. It's madness.

    Steam is the exact opposite of this ridiculous garbage. Steam is actually my favorite way to purchase games now... I just buy a game once and then every time I rebuild I just leave my computer to download and install all of my games again overnight - simple.
  • by shayne321 (106803) on Monday September 08, 2008 @06:23PM (#24926269) Homepage Journal

    From what I've read I think people understand this perfectly well. If your hard drive crashes 3 times in 6 months you'll have to start calling EA to get your game reactivated.. Annoying, but not earth-shattering. Here's what I think people are up in arms about: what happens if you've burned through your 3 installs then want to install your game again in 3 years, when Spore 2 is out and EA decides they will no longer activate Spore 1? What about in 5 years time when Microsoft acquires EA and decides they will focus exclusively on the Xbox 2014 and will no longer activate PC games? What about in 8 years time when IPv6 is common on the internet and spore still requires an IPv4 network for activation? What about in 10 years time when Madden 2018 is such a bloated pile of suck that it collapses upon itself creating a super-massive black hole which swallows all of EA? Ok, so the last one is just an unprovoked shot at Madden, but the point is companies and technology change. Depending on a company to willingly activate a game you've *purchased* for $50+ effectively means you're renting the game. THAT'S why people are making this a Big Deal.

    The other side to this is people are now fully aware that people pirating the game simply grab the torrent, install, and go. It's the legitimate users who have shelled out the $50 that are jumping through the hoops. So in this case DRM has done NOTHING to thwart pirating, and everything to annoy EA's customer base.

  • Re:It might. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by amuro98 (461673) on Monday September 08, 2008 @08:58PM (#24927811)

    Calling Spore a tech demo is wrong, but so is calling it a "game".

    Spore, like The Sims, is not a game, but more of an elaborate computer toy.

    Think about it. The Sims is basically nothing more than an electronic doll house with animated action figures. Do with it as you wish. Push your Sims to have good jobs and be good citizens, or just let them laze around the house watching TV - it's your choice.

    In Spore, much of the content and "game" if you can call it that, will come from the users themselves. There are already millions(!) of user-created creatures available for Spore. How long do you think it'll be before you start seeing people re-enacting Star Trek, Babylon5, or the Uplift series with Spore? The tools are there, you know. Players could control one race, and vie with others to find new planets for colonization, or uplift the species they find there in a competition to see who could get the most planets/races.

    Sure, you could play Spore with a goal in mind, in which case it could be a game...if you come up with some extra rules or constraints to impose on yourself. Or you could just go in and mess around, in which case it becomes a toy.

    THAT's what makes these types of products so great.

  • by Dan541 (1032000) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:39PM (#24928501) Homepage

    Plus these people are COMPLETELY WRONG! After you burn the 3 installs you have to contact EA.

    What happens when EA is not around?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @03:22AM (#24929995)

    Look... we all have a choice of purchasing the game or DLing a copy off of the internet.

    I'm not sure if you noticed this, but believe it or not there is actually a third choice here: neither buying the game nor downloading it. I know, I know, it's a crazy idea. But this way, you can not only vote with your wallet, but you also don't have to do anything illegal or immoral.

    Of course, you end up missing out on the game this way. But that's ok, because this is entirely about the principle of the thing, not about you wanting to get free stuff you don't deserve. Right? Surely you'd be outraged enough with the DRM to actually stage a proper boycott, and not this fake "I don't want it...but I'll still get it anyway" boycott, that I'm sure only applies to those other, evil pirates, and not the decent, respectable pirates like yourself.

It's time to boot, do your boot ROMs know where your disk controllers are?

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