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PC Grand Theft Auto IV Features SecuROM DRM 531

Posted by Soulskill
from the players-are-pirates-qed dept.
arcticstoat writes "Game developer Rockstar has revealed that the forthcoming PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV will feature the controversial SecuROM 7 DRM system. Unlike some of EA's recent titles, such as Spore and Mass Effect, GTA IV won't limit the number of times that you can install the game, although SecuROM will be impossible to remove without leaving 'some traces' on your PC. Anyone hoping to avoid SecuROM by downloading the game form Steam will also be disappointed, as Rockstar says that all versions of the game will feature SecuROM, including digital versions online. On the plus side, Rockstar says that it's 'working with SecuROM to post information on our support pages regarding how to remove these inactive traces of the program for users who wish to do so.' Has Rockstar gotten a better balance between draconian DRM and fair copy protection here?"
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PC Grand Theft Auto IV Features SecuROM DRM

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  • no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:03PM (#25919575) Homepage

    Has Rockstar gotten a better balance between draconian DRM and fair copy protection here?

    No. Fuck them.

    • Re:no (Score:5, Informative)

      by jlarocco (851450) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:04PM (#25919583) Homepage

      Here's an idea: Don't buy the fucking game. Problem solved.

      • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

        by compro01 (777531) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:07PM (#25919611)

        I'm not going to be buying it, but that doesn't seem to be solving the problem, as they continue to push this crap.

        • Re:no (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:21PM (#25919753)
          They lost my sale. I'm pirating it for sure.

          And here I was thinking "finally, a halfway decent game to pay full price for".
          • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

            by cliffski (65094) on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:00PM (#25920081) Homepage

            pirating the game just makes one statement:

            "I want this game, and I took it for free. If you can find a more secure drm, you will make more money from me"

            If you really wanted t protest DRM, you would NOT play the game at all, whilst emailing them to say so.
            When you pirate the game, you just get chalked up by the publisher as another pirate, not as some sort of anti-drm protest vote.

            The people who pirated my games achieved fuck all in terms of removing DRM. I did that because people emailed me and made rational arguments about being in favour of drm-free games. If you actually want rockstar to ditch DRM, you need to tell them, not just act like the pirates who just want free stuff.

            • Re:no (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:19PM (#25920289)

              On the upside, we who pirate won't get an experience ruined by DRM.

              • Re:no (Score:5, Interesting)

                by SausageOfDoom (930370) on Friday November 28, 2008 @10:54PM (#25921419)

                I already have it on the xbox 360, but was considering buying it again for the PC, for the mouse input, free multiplayer and modding capabilities, but this DRM's put me right off.

                I'm not going to pirate it - I'm not that bothered - but they lost a sale. Guess the thing is, will they care? Even if the numbers are substantial, will they even notice? Or just put it down to piracy?

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by icedcool (446975)

              "I want this game, and I took it for free. If you can find a more secure drm, you will make more money from me"

              Uh. No it doesn't.

              It says that I want the game, but I'm not willing to put up with the drm you put on it.
              If you remove the drm, I will buy the game.

              The drm, will always be circumvented by pirates. Every drm we make, we can come up with ways to defeat.

              • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

                by mrbah (844007) on Friday November 28, 2008 @09:58PM (#25921033)
                Paying for the game and not putting up with the DRM aren't mutually exclusive. Buy it, then use a pirated copy.
              • You're both wrong. (Score:4, Interesting)

                by pathological liar (659969) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @04:25AM (#25923231)

                This is one of those amusing situations where stealing the game online is no different than stealing it in a store. Suppose you'd shoplifted the CD instead of grabbing it from a torrent, would you be saying that it makes a statement that "If you beefed up security here, you'd get more money from me"? Would you be saying it makes the statement that "If you got rid of the rent-a-cops I'd buy the game"?

                The only message it sends is that you want the game but for whatever reason are unwilling to pay for it.

            • Rockstar, I'm Done (Score:3, Insightful)

              by kcbnac (854015)

              On that note, anyone know where/how we should send this message?

              I WAS looking forward to purchasing this game. I've got all of the previous GTA series games on the shelf behind me, purchased legitimately. Cracked some of them, so that I could play them on my laptop while on break at college and leaving the CD/DVD at home, and safe. (Hint: The disc checks only serve to piss people off)

              There is a significant portion of the population that avoids piracy. We like having a real copy, it's just we don't want

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by RedWizzard (192002)

              pirating the game just makes one statement:

              "I want this game, and I took it for free. If you can find a more secure drm, you will make more money from me"

              No. You seem to be suffering from the widely held delusion (at least among "content creators") that a pirated copy is a lost sale. The statement that is actually being made is this:

              "I want this game, and I took it for free. I'm not prepared to pay the price you ask with the restrictions you've imposed".

              Making the DRM more secure might get some people to pay. Removing the DRM might get some people to pay. What evidence do you have that adding DRM is more effective than removing DRM? What evidence do you h

              • Re:no (Score:4, Insightful)

                by KDR_11k (778916) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @04:14AM (#25923169)

                No. You seem to be suffering from the widely held delusion (at least among "content creators") that a pirated copy is a lost sale. The statement that is actually being made is this:

                What he thinks is irrelevant, what Rockstar thinks is the important part. You can say they have no evidence all you want but they're not a court of law, they can act without evidence. What they see is somebody whining about "DRM" and using that to calm his conscience about simply warezing the game. What they see is a person who claims to have ideals but doesn't have enough of them to actually avoid playing the game, a person with no self control whose compulsion to play the game can be used to make him buy the game if it's properly secured.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                No. You seem to be suffering from the widely held delusion (at least among "content creators") that a pirated copy is a lost sale.

                I assume from the way you phrase that you aren't yourself a quote content creator unquote.

                Yes, it's common sense that a pirated copy is potentially a lost copy, because clearly that person wanted the game. Maybe they weren't willing to buy it at any price, and maybe they'd be willing to buy it if that were cheaper, but you have to pick some price point and there'll always be such

            • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

              by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @12:29AM (#25922011)

              If you really wanted t protest DRM, you would NOT play the game at all, whilst emailing them to say so.
              When you pirate the game, you just get chalked up by the publisher as another pirate, not as some sort of anti-drm protest vote. ...

              The people who pirated my games achieved fuck all in terms of removing DRM.

              Really? Your blog post 'Talking to Pirates [positech.co.uk]' implies something different happened. You asked the question "Why do people pirate my games?", received some answers, then removed DRM from your games. Don't get me wrong, you did the right thing by asking your potential customers what's going on, but you cannot deny that piracy had an affect on your decision to withdraw the DRM.

              "I want this game, and I took it for free. If you can find a more secure drm, you will make more money from me"

              Yep, that's how it's interpreted, and that's why you and other game companies are facing problems with your potential customers. That is a failure on your part, not on the part of your potential customers. You end up paying more attention to the people aiming to get it for free that you end up screwing the guy that's putting a roof over your head. The game industry has been told for years that it's obnoxious that a disc is required in the system to play. That's not a new thing. It is incredibly difficult to imagine there are many game devs out there that don't know what "NOCD" means. The funny thing is, they see these cracks flying around, then they use this wonderfully broken logic: "If we make it harder to copy the game, we'll reduce piracy!" Cute. Let's reduce piracy by increasing the value of cracked software. Derr.

              The truth is, you won't listen until you can attach numbers to it. You've known all along that restricting the software makes it less valuable to your paying customers. You didn't listen until you started noticing 'pirated' software of yours out there. Sad thing is, that's the case everywhere. You twits think everybody's out to save a buck (completely ignoring the success of places like Starbucks...) and that you're precariously on the verge of getting 2 million playing customers and zero sales. In 25+ years of home gaming, this hasn't happened. What did happen? The customers revolted. Spore announces restrictions, Amazon gets pelted with bad reviews. Oops. EA changes things a bit, then gets Amazon to remove the reviews. It's a small win, but again, no reaction until actual numbers start changing. That is the problem you and every other game developer big and small have. You claim you'll listen to customer feedback, but you don't actually react until people communicate through your wallet.

              I saw you posting on Slashdot. You had plenty of time before 'piracy' got a response out of you.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by bzipitidoo (647217)

              But don't you understand that copy protection which works is logically impossible? The only cases where copy protection "worked" was when the consumer gave up or more likely didn't even try to beat it. Unlike encrypted communication, DRM can always be easily cracked. In DRM, the person Alice is trying to protect the communication from is not an outsider, but Bob, the very person who is supposed to receive the message. No matter how convoluted the protection is, somewhere in there, at some point, the dat

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by superbus1929 (1069292)
              OK, now here's the question:

              How many people are going to do that? If every person that didn't buy DRM laden software - especially SecuROM, since some of them are not as intrusive, such as Uniloc - told the company they didn't buy it because of DRM, would it matter? Would it have any negligible effect on sales? Would they write those sales off to piracy? Despite the negative PR that comes with it, companies still use SecuROM, and they're not punished for it, because every big release that's had SeucROM is st
          • Buy a copy, then download a warez version, and install the warez version. Send a physical letter to the manufacturer with the UPC from the box and the receipt, and explain that you had to download the warez version in order to keep your computer stable. Scan the whole thing before you send it, and put it on the Internet for everyone else to see so they can't ignore it.

            If you actually pay for their product and still go to the trouble of installing a warez version without DRM, that will send a much stronger

        • Re:no (Score:5, Funny)

          by Bill Cuntzler (1419549) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:25PM (#25919787)

          as they continue to push this crap.

          In "IV" form no less. These game companies will to ANYTHING to get you hooked.

        • If you are not buying it, why worry about what crap they are pushing? (Well, maybe you are interested in the "better for all society" sort of way, but that's not what drives most of human society.)

        • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

          by HiVizDiver (640486) on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:19PM (#25920283)
          Well, technically, if NO ONE bought the game, and it was evident that DRM was the reason why, then I bet it *would* solve the problem.

          However, as we've "discussed" (I use the term loosely) ad nauseum here on /., most people have no idea what DRM is, and it doesn't cause most of THEM any problem. They make up the vast majority of people purchasing the game, so until such time that it TRULY becomes draconian (I think using that term might be engaging in a bit of hyperbole), they'll continue putting this shit in their games. Period.

          Before I'm labelled as a corporate shill, note that I do not think DRM works. It does NOT prevent piracy, this much we know. But they still SELL a bazillion copies of the latest blockbuster game, so they must be doing something right, in there minds, right? I also think that the number of people that it REALLY causes problems for is pretty small compared to the number of copies sold on any given game. People who think they can bitch loudly on a company web forum and sign useless online petitions are deluding themselves in how much they think that companies give a rat's ass how much they piss an moan. Not until something happens on a truly epic scale (see the first sentence of this post) will they cease putting DRM in their games, and truly explore alternate means of mitigating piracy.

          Yes, there are games where it's pretty bad, and yes I've seen the video on Youtube, [youtube.com] and I think that's ridiculous. But I also think that companies like EA and Rockstar are (to engage in hyperbole) filling their swimming pools with cash, and they can only reasonably conclude that it's because they are selling a shitload of games due to the fact that DRM works (again, in their minds).
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Kagura (843695)
            I already read a blurb about it having SecuROM, but just like Spore, I don't really care. Spore ran fine without causing me any problems, and I've already pre-ordered GTA4 on Steam.

            I recently ran into a problem with a different game having a five-install limit, and it took me an utterly annoying full week to get a new key through their message boards, but it finally went through. Aside from that one recent incident of a two-year-old game, I have never had any problems with DRM. That's not to say that won
            • Re:no (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Opportunist (166417) on Friday November 28, 2008 @09:14PM (#25920699)

              Now, Spore is a bad example, since you will probably not want to play it in, say, 2 years. But imagine it would have been a good game with good replay value and you dig out that CD in a few years, think "hey, why not play this again instead of buying some new crap?" and find out that it won't activate?

            • Re:no (Score:5, Informative)

              by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Friday November 28, 2008 @10:32PM (#25921251) Homepage Journal

              You won't run into problems generally with secuROM until you start having extra hardware. Two optical drives? SecuROM has disabled one almost every time. If you have a single optical drive in your system, and it happens to be SCSI, expect SecuROM to absolutely fuck it up. running Daemon tools? It's just having to keep one step ahead to stop SecuROM from disablign it, and Process Explorer recently had to be patched to avoid SecuROM preventing it's running.

              If you are a power user, you will have major problems soon enough.

          • Slashdot Effect (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:44PM (#25920491) Homepage Journal

            This is what gets me, is that no one attempts to sprearhead and channel all the users and traffic here.

            What if CmdrTaco made a post on the front page tomorrow asking every visitor to Slashdot to send EA a message that they will refuse to purchase any game with DRM. One email won't do it. 100 emails won't do it. But a few thousand emails in a single day is hard to ignore. How many people visit Slashdot in a day? Is a few thousand emails unreasonable for a coordinated effort from the Slashdot community on an issue we all largely seem to agree on?

            And perhaps another day CmdrTaco posts a request asking everyone to email Nvidia about their Linux drivers.

            Seriously, right now we're an unorganized group of people bitching to each other about issues we agree on as opposed to an organized group expressing our opinion to the appropriate parties.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by cheater512 (783349)

              Slashdotting a email server? I like. :D

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by trawg (308495)

              I used to think this sort of thing works. Sometimes it does. But more often, I suspect, it doesn't.

              Publishers keep putting DRM on games for the same reason they keep making World War 2 games. It's a pretty simple reason:

              People keep buying them.

              We MUST vote with our dollars to make these policies change. That's the only real way to put pressure on a company. The tech-savvy Slashdot crowd accounts for only a tiny percent of the total market - we could send them one million emails, but they'll still send ten m

      • by thermian (1267986)

        Here's an idea: Don't buy the fucking game. Problem solved.

        I won't be, that's certain. Its a shame I have to miss out on so many good games, but I do not want that SecureROM shit on my computer.

        I won't pirate it either, I should be clear about that, I do have principles. I don't think pirating the games of these moronic publishers will change their minds, so I don't do it.

    • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Goldberg's Pants (139800) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:08PM (#25919635) Journal

      There is no reason for this crap to be on the Steam version. Nadeo bundled Starforce with Trackmania to start with but ultimately removed it.

      Treat me like a thief? Then I'll be one. Piracy offering the better alternative again, as Securom will be neutered on the Reloaded (or whoever) release which will probably be out before the game is in all markets.

      When are these idiot developers going to get their heads around this? DRM DOES NOT WORK! All it does is force people who value the contents of their PC to not buy their titles.

      I wonder where the tipping point is? Because it's going to come soon I think. Where the number of sales LOST due to the DRM becomes an issue.

      If you were going to buy GTA IV, and on this news now won't, please post. I mean they've lost my $50.

      "Software Piracy: The friendlier, safer alternative."

      • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Shados (741919) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:15PM (#25919703)

        When are these idiot developers going to get their heads around this?

        PUBLISHERS, not developers. As a general rule, game developers are against strong DRM, and often, against any DRM at all. The publishers usually strong arm them. In this case, the developer and the publisher is pretty much one and the same (I think...), but I doubt the development department agreed with the suits on this.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Yes, I realized after I hit submit the error I made, but really, the developers need to stand up to this crap. I mean the suits may have the power, but without the developers, they have nothing to sell.

          On the plus side, in the current financial climate, I should thank them for doing this since I've saved well over $100 this year that I would have otherwise spent on software had it not had ridiculous copy protection.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Shados (741919)

            In many cases, the developers are not in a position to make a stance. Especialy with smaller developers, this ends up like a second take on the big labels for music/movies. The "artist" (developer in this case) needs the publisher more than the publisher needs the "artist"... some games, including decent ones, never see the light of days for lacking publishers (especially indie ones. Commercial ones still may or may not struggle to get the game out).

            There may also be licenses that are owned by the publisher

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by nobodyman (90587)

          I don't really think publishers are "The Bad Guys" either. When publishers read stories of un-DRM'ed titles like World of Goo having a 90% piracy rate [arstechnica.com], I imagine they feel justified.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by JonMartin (123209)

        If you were going to buy GTA IV, and on this news now won't, please post. I mean they've lost my $50.

        Mine too. Was looking forward to it, but there are plenty of other games I can spend my time and money on.

        Rockstar: see this $50? Not for you anymore.

      • by xant (99438)

        I'm going to buy World of Goo. I'm not going to buy this. Destroy DRM.

      • My biggest worry was whether or not I'd have to update my video card (the spec says a minimum of 512MB of video memory). They've turned this into a non-issue. I will not buy defective products, and DRM is a defect- especially if it's of the SecurROM variety.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      If you want the game, wait for the crack to appera on www.piratebay.com so you can install it without this particular bit of system abuse, and pay for the game so you have a valid license. And write a friendly letter (anonymously) explaining why you had to wait until the crack before you felt safe installing it. Among other abuses, Securom makes sure that you have to have the CD installed while running the game, and this is simply stupid in the modern computer world.

    • It looks like they haven't learned a thing in the last five years.

      They put copy protection on GTA3 for the PC, and it was so unplayable that you had to download the No-CD crack in order to play the game. That's legitimate, retail customers that had to pirate the game they bought in order to play it. That's OSI-Ultima9-level bad coding.

      Rockstar patched the game by providing a legitimate No-CD crack in order to speed up the game to a playable level in v1.1

      I've completely given up on PC gaming because of shit

      • by Rayban (13436) *

        Reminds me of when I bought Worms 3D ten years ago. The copy protection was so bad I couldn't get it to run no matter what. It just refused to install and refused to go.

        I ended up having to pirate the game just to get it running. Unfortunately the no-cd cracks took months, so the software sat unused on my shelf.

        Since then I've only bought a couple of pieces of gaming software. It's too much of a hassle to game on a PC - I've given up.

  • Hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Xeth (614132) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:04PM (#25919591) Journal

    Rockstar says that all versions of the game will feature SecuROM, including digital versions online

    Not quite all, I imagine.

    • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:09PM (#25919653) Journal

      Rockstar says that all versions of the game will feature SecuROM, including digital versions online

      Not quite all, I imagine.

      I don't even play these games. The humor I see in it is that Spore was cracked on September 3rd [kotaku.com]--four days before its launch date. Um, are they really under the impression that one of these schemes might stop the hackers?

      At some point you have to acknowledge that you're just annoying your entire fan base to play a cat-and-mouse game with some hackers (that you're losing in an embarrassing way).

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I think a lot of it is appeasing idiot shareholders. "What are you doing to stop piracy?" they'll say. Rather than say "nothing" they can say lots of cool sounding words and said idiot shareholder gets a warm fuzzy feeling, unaware the schemes are a joke and completely broken.

        In fact I wonder if there's any sort of correlation between choosing draconian DRM and the publisher being a publicly held company?

        Still, it'd be nice to be able to make tens of thousands of dollars selling something that's broken like

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          So instead of fighting piracy with honest pricing they spend money licensing broken and useless DRM systems. Like the idiot studios that pay for Macrovision on their DVD's Macrovision in all forms has been broken for decades. Yet really stupid studios still pay the licensing for it.

          Hey rockstar games, Why not try honest pricing and honest business practices instead?

          If the game was $19.95 and came with bonus content in the box the sales would shoot through the roof. Instead they choose to use a price po

      • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

        by karmatic (776420) on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:29PM (#25920349)

        I don't even play these games. The humor I see in it is that Spore was cracked on September 3rd [kotaku.com]--four days before its launch date. Um, are they really under the impression that one of these schemes might stop the hackers?

        This does nothing to stop determined piracy - we know it, and they know it. What it _does_ do is deter casual copying. For companies like EA, this offers one really compelling feature - it kills the resale market.

        When you can only install on X PCs, it gets a lot harder to resell. Resold games don't make them any money.

  • Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by decipher_saint (72686) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:06PM (#25919607) Homepage

    I'm sure most people don't care (or know) and the ones who do will just grab a "DRM-freed version".

    I like to think that DRM is the cause of and not the solution to Piracy :)

  • Short Answer: No. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ngarrang (1023425) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:07PM (#25919613) Journal

    "Has Rockstar gotten a better balance between draconian DRM and fair copy protection here?"

    No. The fact that any sort of DRM that requires access to some other device out on the interwebz when you install it means that someday when Rockstar gets bought/sued out of existence, you might be able to install the game ever again. Until, that is, someone releases a crack for the scheme.

    I have games from my DOS days that I can still freely install. THAT is software freedom. Anything less is not.

  • by ohxten (1248800) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:07PM (#25919617) Homepage
    There is no hint of irony here. None at ALL.
  • Too bad, I was planning on exceptionally buying the game, but it looks like once again the pirated version will probably be less hassle than the retail version.
  • My email to Rockstar (Score:5, Informative)

    by daybot (911557) * on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:09PM (#25919641)

    I have a simple comment on activation in GTA IV PC - I would appreciate if you could pass this to a relevant person / department (preferably not "Deleted Items").

    Do I need to activate this game online?

    Rockstar: Yes, but to be clear, if you install the game on a computer that isn't connected to the internet, you can perform certain steps to activate your game on another PC with an active internet connection. Once the game is distributed, information on this method will be available on a GTA IV support page.

    Some of my favourite games were written decades ago by companies that no longer exist. GTA IV with its unique story line is an all-time classic, but the activation requirement will at some point in the future render the game unusable. It is for this reason that I refuse to purchase any game that requires activation.

    Thank you for your time.

  • The point? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 4D6963 (933028) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:20PM (#25919741)
    What's even the point of this protection? All it's supposed to protect will be cracked before you even get to put the DVD in your computer. So, what's the point at all?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tftp (111690)

      What's even the point of this protection?

      Shareholders say "Do something!" and so they do something. Doesn't have to be effective, though, but works great as a "feel good" measure.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Opportunist (166417)

        So we get the War on Piracy right after the War on Terror, now that the War on Drugs is almost dead and forgotten?

    • by Shados (741919)

      Its to stop casual piracy. That is, uncle Bob McJoe buys GTA4, gets asked by cousin Timmy DeMoron if he can install it on his new lap-top. Bob says "sure!", they do so, and bang its useless without the disk (or whatever). Thats first.

      Second, its to delay the release of cracked versions as much as possible. While I won't debate if it is true or not, the logic behind it is that games sell the most on day 1. So even if you delay the cracked version by a few HOURS (and that includes a few hours for it being lea

    • Re:The point? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by remmelt (837671) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @05:18AM (#25923447) Homepage

      Kill the second hand market.

  • Better Questions (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Imagix (695350) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:23PM (#25919767)
    Why didn't they ask more interesting questions? From the article: "Having copy protection allows us to protect the integrity or our titles and future investments". Why wasn't the question asked: "If this is so important, why haven't you used a copy protection method that actually works, ie: one which isn't cracked within days of release, if not before release"?
  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spad (470073) <slashdot @ s p a d . c o.uk> on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:23PM (#25919769) Homepage

    I'm not a fan of having additional crap like GFWL & This Rockstar Games Social Club, whatever the hell that is, forced upon me during game installs but the real question for me is whether or not it'll let me run Process Explorer (Which long since replaced Task Manager for me) and play the game at the same time (I'm looking at you, Bioshock, amongst others).

    Also, why screw over the customers using Steam by including SecuROM? Steam *is* a copy protection mechanism in that restricts the game to a single user and it's not easy to duplicate a legit copy to another Steam account (Harder than downloading a cracked copy anyway). I had enough bad experiences with StarForce to be wary of anything that installs hard-to-remove driver hooks to control application usage.

  • Feel good security (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:28PM (#25919803)

    I think people may be missing the human side of the problem. Let's say your an engineer and your manager comes to you and says "zomg! piratez! they r eatin ma soupz!" And being that you're the guy they're paying the big bucks to impliment features, it falls to you to stop people from "pirating". Now, being an engineer you know that there's no way to keep a game from being copied, but your boss is frothing at the mouth and pseudo-geek talk is coming out of his mouth while he runs through the office with a stack of trade magazines -- so you have to do something. So you call up Xyzzy company and tell your boss to pay them a lot of money and the problem goes away. Your boss collapes on his desk in a deep sigh of relief, signs away several million dollars, and -- blammo, SecuROM.

    It's called "feel good security". It's the same kind of security you run into in large corporations. You know, you have to use a randomly generated 18 character alphanumeric password and it changes every 90 days... which is great except that when you go to do your timesheets you have to enter your LAN password... which goes over the wire plaintext encapsulated in an HTTP POST query. Oops. Also, because not everybody's memory is so great, it becomes common practice to keep the 18 character passwords written on sticky notes.

    This is the true genesis of DRM... Ignorance and management fretting over money. It will be viewed as good as long as they "save" more money than it "costs" them.

  • by bhunachchicken (834243) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:37PM (#25919875) Homepage

    The main problem with buying a PC game is that you're pretty much stuck with it.

    What I mean by this is: if you buy a game for a console, you can be assured that if it turns out to be a bag of shit, you can take it back to where you bought it and either get store credit or just exchange it for something else.

    You can't do this with PC games (not to my knowledge anyway). Once you've bought it, it's with you forever.

    The risk involved in buying a game to play on your computer is far to high - It might be crap, it might not run properly, it might not run at all. There's too much risk.

    I think what PC games really need is some sort of subscription system, whereby the user will pay a certain amount of money per month or year to download a set number of titles at any one time (let's just say 3 titles). Effectively you'll be renting the games, rather like when console gamers trade in their old ones to buy new ones.

    Once you're bored of the game, you just revoke your lease on it and then get a different one instead. The data could stay on your hard drive in case you change your mind (and also so you don't have to download 6GBs each time you want to play).

    Doing so would eliminate a great deal of the risk attached to buying a game that basically turns out to be rubbish.

    (oh, and by the way - GTA4 is shit. That and Devil May Cry 4 are the worst games I played this year. You'll not care for either.)

    • You can't do this with PC games (not to my knowledge anyway)

      What kind of country do you live in? Here you can return anything to the store within 28 days as long as you return all of the original packaging. The most they can do is make you pay a small restocking fee.

    • but you can return them, it just takes some effort.

      take a print out of a screen shot of the programs EULA, the part where it says something along the lines of:

      YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS EULA BY INSTALLING, COPYING, OR OTHERWISE USING THE SOFTWARE. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE, DO NOT INSTALL, COPY, OR USE THE SOFTWARE; YOU MAY RETURN IT TO YOUR PLACE OF PURCHASE FOR A FULL REFUND.

      talk to the guy on the floor, he will say 'no, it can't be done',
      ask him to get his manager. the part time manager will s

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:43PM (#25919929)

    Rockstar says that all versions of the game will feature SecuROM, including digital versions online

    All versions except the pirated versions that is.

  • by LordOfYourPants (145342) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:46PM (#25919953)

    How things change in just over 15 years.

    1992:

    Buy Doom after getting to try 1/3 of the game first.

    * Be able to play it via dialup modem or LAN for as long as you have the working equipment.
    * Be able to sell the game after you're done with it and have that second user have the game be just as usable to them.
    * Enjoy playing thousands of user-created maps and mods -- anything from a monster health editor to a porn graphic replacement mod.

    2008:

    Buy game X.

    * Require internet permission to install it. Hopefully you haven't committed the mortal sin of installing it more than three times.
    * Require internet permission every time you wish to run the game.
    * Require CD checking despite the above.
    * Unable to sell the game to people who want something more than a coaster.
    * Multiplayer server for Game X goes down after year because Game X 2009 edition is now out. People who still want to play the original Game X via LAN/hosted internet games are SOL and anyone hacking together hosting capabilities likely receives notice from lawyers.
    * Have some type of over-zealous security check built into the game mess with your computer, internet connection, or both.
    * Deal with an over-moderated/sterile mod community.

  • by Sarusa (104047) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:48PM (#25919965)

    I can guarantee you that copies from thepiratebay.org and btjunkie.org will be shipping without intrusive DRM or sales tax. Fast delivery. Why would you pay extra to get your machine raeped?

    Blah blah blah before the dumb replies, I'm not advocating piracy from companies that treat you with respect, like Stardock. I just won't be buying (or torrenting) this game, period, but this will surely increase the number of people doing the second.

    And just to be extra petty and remind you what evil bastards they are, whenever you see 'SecureROM', that's Sony just doing what Sony normally does. Screwing unaware legitimate customers.

  • No thanks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mcbridematt (544099) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:53PM (#25919999) Homepage Journal
    I'll stick with my copy of GTA4 for X360. At least I _know_ what I'm getting into DRM-wise and I can sell the game to someone else without any attempt on the part of the game maker to limit my resale right.
  • by PPH (736903) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:56PM (#25920033)
    ... of incorporating DRM into any product with "Grand Theft" in the title somehow escapes me.
  • OH Joy! (Score:4, Funny)

    by sjames (1099) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:57PM (#25920053) Homepage

    So they still intend to make a mess with their install but they'll graciously provide instructions on how to clean up after them.

    They should try walking their dog in someone else's yard. When the inevitable happens, offer to loan the angry homeowner a shovel and just see how happy that makes him.

  • You all phale!

    No one caught the irony of:
    "You wouldn't steal a car". lol! [wikipedia.org]

  • What we need is a friendly rootkit that the other rootkits and DRM hook into that makes... umm I dunno what would happen from that point. Maybe the friendly rootkit can recognise the evil rootkit and rootkit the evil rootkit. Hang on. Delete all that. I'd better sleep.
  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Friday November 28, 2008 @09:27PM (#25920785) Homepage Journal
    This whole "DRM" thing is Newspeak. They call it that because "copy protection" has become a dirty word. Therefore we should *always* call it copy protection. We should call it the ugly, technology-breaking thing that it is.
  • From TFA (Score:3, Informative)

    by Spacejock (727523) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @12:00AM (#25921815) Homepage
    Did anyone read the article all the way through, and specifically this bit? Emphasis mine.

    GTA IV PC uses SecuROM for protecting our EXE until street date has passed, to ensure the retail disk is in the computer drive, and is used for Product Activation of the title. Product Activation is a one time only online authentication when installing the game. GTA IV has no install limits for the retail disc version of the game, and that version can be installed on an unlimited number of PCs by the retail disk owner.

    I just searched through the comments here on /. and didn't see it mentioned.

    I've already ordered GTAIV and am looking forward to it. I assumed it would have all kinds of DRM crap, but that's why I now buy only one PC game a year (and I don't own a console.) I used to buy two or three per month, but I don't like digging around for the CD/DVD and I don't like having crap running in the background on my PC.

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