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PC Gaming Alliance's New President Talks DRM, System Requirements 163

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately-or-ever dept.
arcticstoat writes "It's been nearly three years since the PC Gaming Alliance announced its formation at GDC 2008, promising to 'advance the PC as a worldwide gaming platform.' Since then, Activision-Blizzard has publicly left the alliance, Sony DADC – developer of the controversial SecuROM DRM software – has signed up and some people are wondering if the PCGA is really acting in the best interests of PC gamers. However, in December 2010 the alliance appointed a new president — Intel's Matt Ployhar — who's promising to make some changes. In this in-depth interview, Ployhar reveals that he wants to tempt Activision Blizzard back to the alliance, saying that 'Activision's Kotick and Blizzard's Morhaime may be more aligned with our future objectives than they may realize.' He also discusses Sony DADC's role in the alliance, and the group's stance on DRM, explaining that its research can 'really help to influence Sony DADC's and other members' awareness of key trends taking place in the PC gaming ecosystem. Given the trend of retail's diminishing presence, free-to-play, games moving towards authentication, game streaming and so on, it's really hard to divine where DRM solutions fit into this equation in the future.'"
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PC Gaming Alliance's New President Talks DRM, System Requirements

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  • by Kenichi Tanaka (1168171) on Friday January 21, 2011 @07:32AM (#34950594)
    Could this moron at the PC Gaming Alliance be even more vague? DRM and authentication for PC Games is a bad idea ... when they start talking about getting rid of it, then I'll listen. No wonder Sony and Blizzard left them.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Elbart (1233584)
      Sony joined, not left.
      • Sony is still a believer in the Holy Grail of content providers: A DRM that consumers will embrace. Perhaps it's because they own so much content. It's also probably why they backed Mariah Carey's entry into film, "Glitter" with a three-film contract they had to back out of with $50m cash. They let their motivations guide their judgments, and they don't understand western culture.

        Intel though, they should know better on several levels. Intel has enough smart people around to know that an acceptable DRM

        • It won't ever work on a technical level because of the analog hole.

          The article is about video games. Video games cannot be copied through analog reconversion. What you get by camcording the screen is a playthrough, not a game.

          They can try and work around this by making it so Cindy has no control over her equipment, but then it fails the "acceptable" test. Cindy then can't play the home movies she took herself

          Video game consoles already fail the "acceptable" test by not allowing homebrew, yet home users by and large don't care.

          There is now, and always will be, equipment available to play open content

          Some video game genres, especially fighting games and the "party" games popular on Wii and other shared-screen multiplayer games, don't sell well on PCs due to the smaller size of a median desktop monitor.

        • by Kjella (173770)

          Embrace is going to far, but they're looking for DRM customers will tolerate. Or more correctly they're moving towards a system where DRM is implicit to the system rather than explicit. WoW doesn't need a DRM system, it doesn't have to. That is why almost all games have killed off LAN play, you need their servers and a valid account to play multiplayer. For single player games they're moving more and more towards you having to have Steam or other online access, and if not they're moving more and more toward

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Elbereth (58257)

      Why, exactly, is it such a bad idea?

      I dislike it, but that's mostly because I'm a consumer. As a consumer, many things strike me as annoyances (or downright stupid) that are actually good business sense (or so I'm told). From the point of view of the corporate suits that actually run the gaming companies, I'm sure DRM looks very good: it protects their assets for a time (all they really need is for the DRM to last long enough for the first wave of purchases, which make the game a hit or not), it combats c

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Also where does it stop?

        Lets "Authenticate" you are allowed to play this dvd, read this book, etc.

        I understand they want to protect their products from been "stolen", but use other avenues like using the police and courts. I don't want to feel like I'm living in 1984 every time I want to watch/read/play something.

         

      • I like CCP (Eve-on line)'s model - make the client free and charge monthly fee. No DRM required, and they're making a nice profit still. . Of course, this only works for MMO games and other companies in the MMO genre still shaft us by making us pay for the client (Blizzard, I'm looking at you)

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          If you like Eve Online then try Allegiance.

          Free to download and free to play. And it strips out all the crap and gives you combat-combat-combat.

          • The "crap" is what makes Eve, Eve. It's a wonderful way of keeping the city-dwellers and trolls out of the game, and as such the Eve universe benefits.

            It makes more sense as a space simulator than a game, but it's still very much enjoyable. IMHO.
      • by wertigon (1204486)

        Simple. Every game, book, movie and song thrives by being copied.

        By using draconian DRM, all you do is alienating your customer base, whom sooner or later will be bitten by the DRM bug and (quite rightfully so) will say "Screw you guys!" and start playing non-DRM games or listen to non-DRM music exclusively.

        Long-term, DRM means noone will give a damn about your future products. The more internet-aware we get, the more open we become of the alternatives. People WILL prefer free over DRM, and therefore DRM is

        • your customer base, whom sooner or later will be bitten by the DRM bug and (quite rightfully so) will say "Screw you guys!" and start playing non-DRM games

          Every console game is DRM, whether disc or download. Some genres are underrepresented on PC due to the historic association of PCs with desks. So how will fans of those genres "say 'Screw you guys!' and start playing non-DRM games"?

          • by wertigon (1204486)

            But consoles are a different ballpark alltogether.

            My argument is "Given a choice, people will prefer DRM-free games". If all games have DRM, then they are hardly given a choice, now are they?

            • by Elbereth (58257)

              How are consoles different?

              • by tepples (727027)
                Elbereth wrote:

                How are consoles different?

                Consoles differ from PCs in two main ways:

                • Consoles are generally connected to larger monitors than PCs. This allows for same-screen multiplayer. Same-screen multiplayer is far easier and cheaper than a LAN party [pineight.com], and some genres (such as fighting games or the party games popular on Wii) depend on it.
                • Consoles require all code to have been digitally signed by the console maker, and console makers such as Sony and Nintendo have categorically refused to sign code developed by a dedicated team o
                • by wertigon (1204486)

                  Elbereth wrote:

                  How are consoles different?

                  Consoles require all code to have been digitally signed by the console maker, and console makers such as Sony and Nintendo have categorically refused to sign code developed by a dedicated team of individuals working out of home offices.

                  This. The consoles aren't an open market. DRM-free games and homebrew cannot exist on them, for that would allow for rampant piracy. That's why they're different.

        • More likely is that people will end up with an experience closely resembling my own. Before DRM, the process was generally:

          -buy game.
          -install game.
          -play game.

          It was simple, and since I had purchased the game, I was fine. Now, the process more closely resembles:

          -buy game.
          -install game.
          -patch game.
          -scour the internet for NOCD crack.
          -run game.

          It's become a mandatory step for virtually every non-Steam/Impulse game I've bought. What's worse is that I've now become aware of sites that host pirated games, and the

      • You refer to yourself as a "consumer." You seem perfectly willing to choke-down whatever DRM crapola Sony ant their ilk are willing to shove at you, justified by their wafer-thin argument that "it's just good business."

        Try refusing to use the term "consumer," and expect to be treated as a "customer" of a company. It'll change your outlook. You are not a wallet with legs that serves at their convenience.
      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Why, exactly, is it such a bad idea?

        Angering your paying customers with no evidence that what you're doing to anger them has benefit is always a bad idea. DRM is one reason I'm no longer into gaming. It just isn't worth the hassle.

        So, if DRM is because of piracy, than piracy is costing them money. They're not getting mine any more (and I say that as someone who registered Duke Nukem 1 back in the day). There's no way in hell I'll buy ANYTHING that is encumbered with DRM.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Is DRM doing what *they* want it to? They wouldn't keep using it, if it weren't, even if it merely gives them that warm fuzzy feeling.

        It really isn't. These days you can copy game CDs and play them just fine, even if they have protection, thanks to daemon tools.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lumpy (12016)

      Sony just joined because of their draconian stance on DRM. Sony LOVES DRM.

      There is a standing fact; These guys HATE the players and customers. This is why the DRM is so bad that you have to pirate it to get a good gaming experience. I have actually stopped PC gaming completely. IT's not worth it anymore. Buy a game, go searching for the cracks and irate tools so I can play the damn thing without having to be connected to the internet or have the Disc in. I gave up and now travel with a DS and a PSP

      • I have actually stopped PC gaming completely.

        Then what do you do when you want to play a game from a developer that the console makers have rejected?

      • by MogNuts (97512) on Friday January 21, 2011 @10:04AM (#34951724)

        Quitter.

        This is not a personal attack against u. But I hate this prevailing opinion.

        1) Buy from Steam or some other downloaded service. No CD required. No crack required. AND games are automatically updated in the background without user intervention

        2) You can hook up a gaming PC to a TV in your living room so easy it's not even funny. It requires the purchase of one $5 cable. That's so hard!

        3) 20 minute install? Easy answer. PS3 30-minute installs. And if u buy a game on Steam, once it's downloaded, it's installed. Done.

        4) Key codes. Yea I'll give u that one, again unless u buy on steam.

        5) Registering on servers. False. Now even console games do it. Recently I had to register to play Medal of Honor online on the console.

        6) And the biggest, a point u didn't say but I want to address. "U need a $1500-2000 gaming rig or upgraded ur computer with a $500 card every year." BS. I have a C2D Duo with 2GB RAM and a 8800 GTS 512. I still run most games on max settings. And gasp u can always try playing a game at High or medium settings instead of Highest/max. You still run a resolution 2x-3x the console version so it still looks nicer. What do u think consoles run it at? 900x400 at *lowest* quality graphics settings. And nowadays I can't get over how console graphics look totally like shit. I can't even play them anymore they look so bad.

        /end rant

        • by tepples (727027)

          You can hook up a gaming PC to a TV in your living room so easy it's not even funny.

          Not many PC games support this use case because very few people have connected a gaming PC to a TV. I know of Trine, the first edition of SF4 (PCs aren't getting the Super edition due to low sales), and what else?

          It requires the purchase of one $5 cable.

          It also requires the purchase of a gaming PC to put next to the TV, such as your Core 2 Duo with 2GB RAM and a $120 video card, unless you plan to surf the web on your TV all the time.

          And if u buy a game on Steam, once it's downloaded, it's installed.

          Given what passes for high-speed Internet in some parts of the United States, one could take the bus to the mall, b

          • by 0123456 (636235)

            Not many PC games support this use case because very few people have connected a gaming PC to a TV. I know of Trine, the first edition of SF4 (PCs aren't getting the Super edition due to low sales), and what else?

            What do you think games need to support? I plug my laptop into the TV, and the games appear on the TV instead of the laptop LCD... it's also the same resolution so I don't even have to change that in the game settings; though the bastards who made the TV scale up the image to make it look horrible so I lose some pixels around the edges, and the gamma is different.

            • by tepples (727027)

              What do you think games need to support?

              Gamepads for players 2, 3, and 4. Not all game genres benefit from having a separate screen for each player.

          • by MogNuts (97512)

            *Shakes head*

            Did you read my post?

            Not many PC games support this use case because very few people have connected a gaming PC to a TV. I know of Trine, the first edition of SF4 (PCs aren't getting the Super edition due to low sales), and what else?

            What you are talking about has nothing to do with being able to use a PC on an HDTV. A PC can connect easily to a HDTV and using only a $5 cable, period. You're talking about co-op multiplayer games, which have nothing to do with being able to a connect a PC to a HDTV, *and* which btw consist of 5-10% of the console market. Totally different. And maybe some people don't want to bother with that. Were you old enough to play 4-player Goldeneye? It was awful. Also, I'm an adul

            • Were you old enough to play 4-player Goldeneye? It was awful.

              We thought it was awesome at the time. Besides, not all video games are first-person shooters. For example, I don't see a benefit in providing a separate screen for each player in a fighting game.

              Also, I'm an adult. Adults don't have the time or in the situation usually to invite friends over for video game sessions all the time.

              Some adults babysit kids. I for one babysit my aunt's kids every other weekend while their parents go out and do things.

              It also requires the purchase of a gaming PC to put next to the TV [...] unless you plan to surf the web on your TV all the time.

              Or you could just move your existing PC and connect it to a HDTV.

              But once you have "move[d] your existing PC and connect[ed] it to a HDTV", you'll have "to surf the web on your TV all the time." What am I missing?

              you can buy a new "gaming" PC for about $700

              A lot of people would rather buy a PLAYSTATION 3

              • by MogNuts (97512)

                Were you old enough to play 4-player Goldeneye? It was awful.

                We thought it was awesome at the time. Besides, not all video games are first-person shooters. For example, I don't see a benefit in providing a separate screen for each player in a fighting game.

                1) Fighting games don't split up the screen into 2 or 4 tiny boxes
                2) Fighting games actually are playable on the same screen for the PC. See SF IV.
                3) Lol c'mon man. Yes, Goldeneye 4 player split screen was awesome--in 1997. 14 years ago. In the past 5 years, not so much.

                Also, I'm an adult. Adults don't have the time or in the situation usually to invite friends over for video game sessions all the time.

                Some adults babysit kids. I for one babysit my aunt's kids every other weekend while their parents go out and do things.

                Again, c'mon lol. Please read what you just wrote again. I'm not even going to entertain this particular strawman rebuttal. And not every adult is unfortunate enough to get stuck watching some else's kids on the weekend.

                It also requires the purchase of a gaming PC to put next to the TV [...] unless you plan to surf the web on your TV all the time.

                Or you could just move your existing PC and connect it to a HDTV.

                But once you have "move[d] your existing PC and connect[ed] it to a HDTV", you'll have "to surf the web on your TV all the time." What am I missing?

                What's wrong with tha

                • Fighting games don't split up the screen into 2 or 4 tiny boxes

                  Yet most of them still don't get ported to PC.

                  the first edition of SF4 (PCs aren't getting the Super edition due to low sales), and what else?

                  Fighting games actually are playable on the same screen for the PC. See SF IV.

                  Capcom released only the first edition (SF IV, not Super SF IV) for PC. It isn't releasing Super SF IV for PC because of low sales and because it believes that infringing copies of SF IV for PC unfairly competed with copies of SF IV for consoles.

                  Yes, Goldeneye 4 player split screen was awesome--in 1997. 14 years ago. In the past 5 years, not so much.

                  First-person shooters should stay on the PC. Other genres, not so much.

                  Please read what you just wrote again.

                  I wrote "Some adults babysit kids. I for one babysit my aunt's kids every other weekend while their parents go out and do things." As I understand wh

            • by walshy007 (906710)

              so wait... you are taking 8 years of xbox live account subscription into this (never mind that it's the only console out there that charges for regular multiplayer for most games) and yet not accounting that within 8 years you WILL need new pc hardware?

              In 2003 we were using 2ghz p4's with 512mb-1gb ram tops, do you seriously think a modern game can play on that machine by your 8 year lifecycle of pc's idea?

              Either cut back the xbox live subscription years in your equation (and hard disk since you wouldn't be

              • by MogNuts (97512)

                so wait... you are taking 8 years of xbox live account subscription into this (never mind that it's the only console out there that charges for regular multiplayer for most games) and yet not accounting that within 8 years you WILL need new pc hardware?

                1) You make it seem like there are tons of consoles. News flash. There are only 2 consoles that do multiplayer. The Wii doesn't count because it's online multiplayer is well plain awful.

                2) You won't need new hardware unless you want to play SOME new games at MAX settings. Many are still playable at MAX settings and all are playable at HIGH or worst case MEDIUM. And how is this different from a console? When the PS4 comes out with better graphics, you can't play PS4 games on a PS3. I'm not seeing the sense h

        • by tixxit (1107127)
          Consoles run at 1920x1080p; to double the resolution, you'd need a monitor w/ sqrt(2) times the horizontal & vertical pixels (ie. ~ 2715x1527). Most PC gamers I know have approximately 1080p resultion monitors, give or take, so I don't see how they could run at 2-3x the resolution. In fact, the only person I know w/ a larger resolution has a 30" monitor that cost as much as my TV and PS3 together.
          • Consoles run at 1920x1080p

            A lot of Xbox 360 games, such as Gears of War, Halo 3, Final Fantasy XIII, and both Call of Duty: Modern Warfare games, render in a resolution closer to 576p or 600p and upscale. A 576p render is not HDTV; it's the same size as PAL EDTV.

          • by MogNuts (97512)

            No. Consoles run usually around the resolution I stated and *upscale the image to match either 1080p or 720p. That's why consoles look awful. A 900x400 image stretched to 1920x1080 looks terrible

            • by tixxit (1107127)
              I didn't know that - that said, I looked up the resolution of several games I play often, and none are 900x400. Most seem to be 720p. A few are larger.
              • by MogNuts (97512)

                Yea I know I never realized it either until GTA IV came out, and I thought to myself, "why doesn't this game look awful?" Although I'm not so sure about all the games being 720p. I'd be curious to know which ones are that of a resolution.

      • by brkello (642429)

        Of course, consoles are just a more restrictive form of DRM than pretty much all but the most hideous DRM schemes on the PC.
         
        I find it surprising that such flamebait is modded up. People don't hate their customers. DRM is a result from piracy. There are a lot of valid arguments that DRM hurts customers more than pirates, but you don't want to have a rational discussion. I don't really get why people have to go Glenn Beck crazy emotional over something like this.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        I dont have to fight or wait through a 20 minute install. put in disc and play. no register on their servers, no other crap, no entering a key code. insert disc->play.

        Both PS3 and Xbox 360 are famous for crappy lasers. Actually Sony has never been able to make a reliable laser pickup unit EVER. It's the first thing to go on any Sony product with an optical drive. My 360's drive is on its way out and it often takes me several tries to get it to even copy a game, so I pretty much have to copy every game to the disk if I want to play.

    • Is DRM worth it? It's easily cracked (although the first week of sales generally dwarfs all others, so even a few days are nice) and it punishes paying customers while the pirates are unaffected.

      On the other hand no DRM seems to have a detrimental effect on sales. Point in case: Ubisoft. First they used the usual crap, then they tried DRM-free games for a while. The lesson? Well, they built the most draconian DRM regime ever devised which should tell you something.

      Pirates are cheap. Many may say that they

      • by PitaBred (632671)

        So what you're saying is that with or without DRM, pirates are lazy and cheap, so they will never be your customers? So why even worry about them?

        Your conclusion is correct... give people a reason to buy the product you're selling. Don't worry about punishing the "pirates", because at worst they're good advertising. That's capitalism.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Not moronic at all. This isn't about gamers, it's about game companies. The "for gamers" is just a bald faced lie, and it amazes me that anybody believes that the game companies give two shits about their paying customers, when they've shown time and again that they hold gamers in contempt.

      Two decades ago we got rid of DRM by refusing to buy games that had DRM. How times change!

      • by Darinbob (1142669)
        It's even worse. Now days you have gamers standing up for DRM and defending it. Claiming that because they want to download a game and play immediately (some amazing internet speeds they have) that _everyone_ should do this too and that _everyone_ should put up with online authentication and activation.

        When you have idiots saying "Steam isn't DRM" and "Steam is good for the users" and "you should really try Steam", then you know the battle is over and the customers have lost.
    • by brkello (642429)

      I like how you call the guy a moron and then fail to actually read the summary. Good job!

  • Ok, so I know they have retracted their objections to the world of starcraft mod [slashdot.org] but you have to ask if a company whose legal team is in attack mode really "gets" PC gaming. It's the mods, stupid!

    • by Elbereth (58257)

      You're seriously asking if Blizzard "gets" PC gaming?

      Maybe you've heard of the Diablo, Warcraft, and Starcraft franchises? They're only the best-selling games of all time on the PC.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        You're seriously asking if Blizzard "gets" PC gaming?

        Maybe you've heard of the Diablo, Warcraft, and Starcraft franchises? They're only the best-selling games of all time on the PC.

        And yet, if you exert a chilling effect on game modding, then you're basically going to end up with the console gaming scene replicated on the PC. If one of the console manufacturers would just allow keyboard+mouse control of modern games, then the only thing left for the PC would be modding. And now, basic modding is being added into console games...

        • by Elbereth (58257)

          So what?

          Not everyone wants to mod games, and not everyone wants to use mods. PC gaming has much more than just mods. My PC can kick the shit out of any console. That means that I can play games that would never run on a console, thanks to having specs twice as good as a PS3 or Xbox 360. If a game doesn't allow modding, then so be it. That doesn't mean I won't play it, and it doesn't mean that I'm going to a console that's half the speed of my PC.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            If a game doesn't allow modding, then so be it. That doesn't mean I won't play it, and it doesn't mean that I'm going to a console that's half the speed of my PC.

            The problem with your analysis is that the market is made up of the masses, not you. If they continue to deprecate PC gaming more gamers will leave PC gaming and you'll end up basically with only console gaming. The PC is itself being deprecated in the home, especially the PC capable of playing games.

          • by tepples (727027)

            That means that I can play games that would never run on a console, thanks to having specs twice as good as a PS3 or Xbox 360.

            But Xbox 360 and especially Wii gamers can play games that would never run on a PC, thanks to having a median monitor twice as big physically as that of a desktop PC. Trine replaces The Lost Vikings and possibly New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but what PC game could replace Super Smash Bros. series?

            • by Elbereth (58257)

              The Wii doesn't even support HD.

              • The fact that Wii graphics are EDTV, not HDTV, matters little. You don't need large pixel counts for same-screen multiplayer, but you do need a physically large monitor, DPI be damned. Existing desktop PCs tend not to have one of those, and many aren't even in the same room as a large monitor.
  • Sandy Bridge (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Friday January 21, 2011 @08:57AM (#34951102)
    Starting now, the DRM will be baked into the silicon.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      what good does that do when the executable is altered? nothing. as long as dev machines cost the same as normals, and with pc's scale they will, then hw drm on pc doesn't actually do much anything, provided you're willing to run altered sw.

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        what good does that do when the executable is altered? nothing.

        And if Intel put an encryption key in your CPU and then the game companies sell you a game that's encrypted so only your CPU can play it?

        DRM hard-wired into the CPU is the only way it can really 'work'. Of course having to download a new copy of the game for every PC you want to run it on would also alienate most of the PC gamers in the world.

        • Of course having to download a new copy of the game for every PC you want to run it on would also alienate most of the PC gamers in the world.

          PC gamers already accept having to buy a separate copy of the game for the PCs used by players 2 and 4. The last major PC game I can remember with "spawn installation" was the original Starcraft.

          • by 0123456 (636235)

            PC gamers already accept having to buy a separate copy of the game for the PCs used by players 2 and 4.

            I wasn't talking about that. Some of my Steam games are installed on three different PCs, but I did that by copying the files between computers, not downloading the whole thing again. I couldn't do that with encrypted binaries tied to a CPU, nor I could I reinstall them when I upgrade a CPU or replace an old PC with a new one.

      • by tepples (727027)

        as long as dev machines cost the same as normals, and with pc's scale they will

        Homework-and-Facebook PCs, with an Intel GMA comparable to the GPU of the Wii or original Xbox, have scale. Gaming PCs with NVIDIA or AMD graphics, not so much.

  • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Friday January 21, 2011 @09:01AM (#34951136)
    It's a simple concept to grasp. DRM makes your legally bought games harder to play, more prone to fail and can potentially cripple your whole system. Pirated games have none of this. The industry needs to reverse this trend, and by reversing it I don't mean increasing it with harsher DRM schemes that only punish legitimate customers.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      slowly choking doesn't really show the current status of pc gaming. it's at it's highest _ever_. sales of independent games are higher than ever too(though some 'indies' are really much more organized and much more corporate than corporate pc gaming firms in late '80s).

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        slowly choking doesn't really show the current status of pc gaming. it's at it's highest _ever_.

        How much of that is down to WoW? I'm sure I read somewhere that Blizzard make more money than all the console companies combined?

    • by brkello (642429)

      Um, in what world do you live in? Pirated games have spyware and trojans in them that infect your computer and steal you information (and people wonder how their WoW accounts get compromised). The fact that you trust pirates more than the game companies show both what a sad state the industry is in due to awful DRM schemes and how naive supposedly technical people are of pirated software.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday January 21, 2011 @09:04AM (#34951152)

    Here's a one step path to success: Don't devalue your own games and drive people to console gaming. It is actually that simple. Allow me to tell you how this can be achived.

    1. Create menus and controls that lend themselves to the way PC games can be played and are played.
    It should be a no-brainer, but it is anything but that. With more and more games you don't even only "feel" like they're cheap knockoff console ports, they very obviously are. Menus that can't be sensibly navigated with a mouse because they're made for console controllers. Controls that are harebrained at best until you somehow jury-rig a game controller into your PC. That blows twice as hard if it's a game that asks for keyboard/mouse input like a FPS or RTS game.

    2. Let me resell my game or at least make it cheaper than the console version.
    I can resell console games. Which in turn allows me to shave about 30-50% off the price of a game because that's what a second hand sale will net me. If the PC game isn't at least 30-50% cheaper, why should I go for the PC version? Especially if the game handles as badly as the console version, because of 1).

    3. Make sure it works!
    Again, should be a no-brainer, but more and more games require me to jump through more and more hoops just to play. Why does it work for Steam, GOG and Impulse?

    4. Don't devalue your games with pointless DRM.
    Note the pointless. DRM, as much as anyone hates it, is probably a requirement to make sure at least the "playground copying" stops being a problem. Ok. We got used to having CDs in our drives, and the consoles are even on this field. The new "be online or don't play" crap certainly puts a dent into this and again favors the console as the gaming platform of choice, because it does not feature this problem. And it is nothing but a source of problems for the customer, he doesn't really have any benefit from it.

    In short, if you want to promote PC gaming, don't cripple games 'til your customer rightfully thinks he's better off with a game console.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      exactly! biggest problem with pc gaming currently is that the games are built by the limitations of the console releases, so even things like levels are done so that they're possible to use in the console environment, even if on the pc you could now use a gigabyte more.

      at it's infancy pc gaming kicked consoles to the curb because of the depth of gaming possible by hard discs and more memory.

    • 1. Create menus and controls that lend themselves to the way PC games can be played and are played.

      So true, it's almost criminal the way they have blown this one. I bought Fallout New Vegas, and instantly installed a mod so more options could be on the screen at once. The default scheme was obviously made for 640x480. After a while it was clear the menus were meant to be navigated with a controller. Simple things like navigating the inventory wouldn't work correctly with arrow keys.

      What saved me was that my Xbox broke and so I had 2 controllers I wanted to make use of for games like Assassin's creed and

      • by Darinbob (1142669)
        Gah, Fallout New Vegas... Got that recently because I love Fallout 3 and all the previous games, and I love other Bethesda games. Fallout 3 did not have DRM, it did not even have a DVD check except for initial install. You can install it, then run the securom removal tool. Brilliant. So I get Fallout New Vegas from Amazon with a xmas gift card. I'm not looking at the box carefully. So it shows up and it's gut STEAM on it! BASTARDS!

        Half an hour to update steam (hadn't run it in over a year), install t
    • Create menus and controls that lend themselves to the way PC games can be played and are played.

      I agree, but don't cut out console-style mode entirely on the PC version. Some people have home theater PCs and prefer gamepads.

      until you somehow jury-rig a game controller into your PC.

      Plugging a USB game controller into a PC is hardly "jury rigging". USB game controllers have been around since 1999, and Xbox 360 wired controllers work fine with PCs. The only "jury rigging" I can think of is on PCs with few or no front USB ports, where you have to plug a 4-port hub into the PC, but consoles have been using hubs since the NES Four Score.

  • That's cute (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Friday January 21, 2011 @09:28AM (#34951328)

    I'm a serious gamer, and have been for the past 25 years. I've played everything from text based adventures, MUDs with pseudo-ascii maps, and today's fast paced shooters. I've killed, conquered and explored from the bottom of the earth's crust to different galaxies past and future.

    Yet somehow I've never heard of this PC Gaming Alliance which claims to be acting in my interest. They've never spoken to me or asked my opinion. Yet they say they represent me, the gamer.

    Well you can keep your political organizations, for all they're worth. I have games to play.

    • by brkello (642429)

      Well, now you know about them and can get involved. Do you think that somehow by playing a bunch of games you magically get placed on a mailing list to be contacted? Besides, most gamers I know, including myself, just want to play...just like the attitude you have in your last statement.
       
      You don't care, so why are you complaining that you don't know about them?

  • steam DRM is not that bad and has up sides

    like no need for CD's.

    lets you have the game on more then 1 system

    no install limits

    Also

    US broadband sucks for any thing that is on live like and caps make it suck even more.

    • steam DRM [...] lets you have the game on more then 1 system

      In single player or multiplayer mode? If I have friends over at my place, and we want to play a video game together, do Steam games support "spawn installation" over a LAN?

      US broadband sucks for any thing that is on live like and caps make it suck even more.

      Which is a point against Steam because redownloading a game costs against your cap, which can be as low as 7500 MB per month [wildblue.com] in some parts of the United States.

  • I'm not sure I would define DRM as divine, to be honest.
  • You want to make sure your product never gets used without permission. Its simple:

    The best DRM is to make an arcade at your head quarters where your games are. However, the arcade system is only the front end for the server that has all the logic. Invite others to use your game while under the careful eye of your security. To be extra sure, do a full search of all users before they interact with the game, along with an extensive background check of the security guards (and the rest of your staff). This way

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