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PS3 Piracy Threats Cause Phone-Home DRM 256

Posted by Soulskill
from the fighting-fire-with-gasoline dept.
Stoobalou writes "The last time game developer Capcom tried to impose Internet-based copy protection on one of its games, it was forced to backtrack over a storm of complaints. In that instance Final Fight: Double Impact was hobbled with a piracy-busting scheme which phoned home every time the game was booted, but Capcom forgot to mention that little nugget of information to potential purchasers — an omission which eventually led to the DRM scheme being hastily withdrawn. The company has decided not to repeat the mistake with its latest release, Bionic Commando Rearmed 2, by making it clear that the game won't work unless it gets a sign-off from the company's servers."
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PS3 Piracy Threats Cause Phone-Home DRM

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  • Not "causality" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Friday February 04, 2011 @07:39AM (#35102158)

    PS3 Piracy Threats Cause Phone-Home DRM

    No, privacy threats plus Sony's willingness to impose phone-home DRM plus consumers' and legislators' willingness to accept DRM were all contributors.

    • Even corporations.
      Let's boycott Capcom's games, Capcom's gadgets, and Capcom's websites.

      • by theaveng (1243528)

        Even corporations. Let's boycott Capcom's games, Capcom's gadgets, and Capcom's websites.

        -1 over-rated??? More like: +1 insightful.

        I am with you 100%. Boycott them.

        • Yeah! All five of us should boycott! That'll show 'em.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        P.S.

        Another reason it's not acceptable is because I often take my console with me to hotels, whether it's the PSX, the Nintendo, or the Xbox, and often they don't provide more than one internet line (which is used for my laptop). Also the kids in my family don't have their consoles connected online.

        That means we'd all have CD/DVD games that refuse to play because they cannot "phone home" to the Game manufacturer's website to verify their validity. - This is a lousy method of copy protecting disks.

    • by Zelgadiss (213127)

      Well, Sony doesn't really have that strong a hand to play if you think about it.

      You either appease game publishers, or they don't develop for you. /shrug

      • Re:Not "causality" (Score:5, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday February 04, 2011 @09:54AM (#35102830) Homepage Journal

        Further, Sony has already lost everyone with principles, so now they can continue to abuse their user base which will continue to suck it down gratefully. Anyone who really believes in freedom of Morality decided to refuse to give Sony any more money after the whole Betamax morality police thing. Anyone who is against Fraud chose to stop giving them money after they killed the Dreamcast by publishing specifications for the PS2 that they knew to be false. Anyone who is against having their computer infected with malware stopped giving them money after the Rootkit debacle. Anyone who loves video gaming stopped giving them money after they summoned satan all over Lik-Sang by suing them in every court in the EU for providing hardware with substantial noncommercial use; but they couldn't even afford to respond to the lawsuits so they closed their doors.

        Anyone who still gives Sony money is PART OF THE PROBLEM and every conversation you have with them about video games should begin, continue, and end with how they should stop supporting Sony. Anyone who claims to love games and gaming but still gives Sony money is a hypocrite and the enemy of all gamers.

        • by quadrox (1174915)

          I wish there were more people like you. Unfortunately most people lose their principles the second they see something shiny they want.

          I too have succumbed to temptation a few times, but in general I stick to my principles as much as I can. I too will never support sony, unless they change their ways dramatically. Same goes for Microsoft.

          And this includes indirect support as well (buying hardware with licensed-from-sony stuff in it for example)

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            I'm still on the fence regarding Microsoft and gaming. On one hand, Microsoft has the evil embrace, extend, extinguish strategy. On the other hand, Microsoft has arguably the most open console (least closed?) of the generation; you can actually develop and release games for an unhacked system without extensive requirements. The PS3 or Wii, of course, has been most opened... by the community. My perception is that there is the most homebrew on the Wii.

            It's getting harder and harder to be a gamer. Even old ga

            • by geekoid (135745)

              I would think you can fix the Alpha Centauri issue with a shim. They're pretty easy to make these days.

              If you only game with games from companies that never do any wrong, you will never game.

              You can buy a PS3, enjoy the games, and ALSO try to get Sony to change policy.

              The world is not black and white. Never has been, never will be.

              XBox is alright. They haqve done better on the community aspect of console then SOny has. WHat I hate about the XBox is basically three things:
              1) I understand it's a tool for them

        • by Zelgadiss (213127)

          Corporations have no principles, with the exception of a few like maybe Google.

          They exist to make money, if something stops making them money, they stop doing it.

          As for the Dreamcast, what you have observed is a well know tactic known as FUD, pioneered by everyone's "favourite" monopolist MS.

          I suppose all that's left is Nintendo, but they have their own skeletons in their closets from the NES/SNES days when they were kingpin.

    • I can attest to this, and can back it up with the Capcom forum for BC2. This is one of the first posts complaining about DRM usage and there are immediately people defending it implying that if you don't like it - you're a pirate.

      I think it boils down to this: The people who only have a cursory inference of what DRM is or how it would work (i.e. Joe AverageConsumer) are 'buying' what the companies are feeding them - "We're hurting because of pirates and we only do this because we have to!"

      Until we cha
  • by mykos (1627575) on Friday February 04, 2011 @07:47AM (#35102192)
    Pirates will pirate.
    Buyers will buy.
    But DRM makes buyers look into piracy.
    • by Z00L00K (682162) on Friday February 04, 2011 @07:56AM (#35102230) Homepage

      If this scheme seems to work other games will follow - as will other publishers.

      So by avoiding buying the games you are sending a clear signal to the publisher that this is method that isn't acceptable.

      And what happens if there is a DoS attack on the servers?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Spad (470073)

        No you're not and that's the problem. By not buying the game you're sending a clear signal that you found a way to pirate it and so they need to add even more draconian anti-piracy measures to their next release.

        Hi Ubisoft!

      • by Shrike82 (1471633) on Friday February 04, 2011 @09:04AM (#35102584)
        While I agree with the sentiment of your post, it's preaching to the converted here I think. The problem is all the people out there who buy games without really giving a crap about the important issues. Fallout 3 and New Vegas for example. Horribly buggy on the PC upon release, still crashing to desktop regularly despite a swathe of patches and no-one is really that up in arms about it (probably because it's still a good game despite the bugs). Similar case, and something on British news today - Black Ops. Released with what seems like a hastily cobbled together multiplayer framework that left a significant proportion of the player base unable to use the multiplayer aspect of the game at all, and it's still like that today. The publisher gives assurances about working with gamers to fix it, but what they'd really like is for everyone to just shut up and swallow the pill. As long as there are people out there willing to for out £40-50 on a game that's broken at release, or has intrusive DRM stuffed everywhere, this kind of behaviour and this approach to selling games will continue.

        This is why is adamantly defend Valve and their "it'll be late but by God it'll work" approach to releasing games, arguments over Steam as DRM aside.
      • It would be nice if people didn't buy it and capcom got that message; however that isn't going to happen. If the game sells well, capcom will hail it as a victory and this method will spread to other games quickly. If the game doesn't sell well, capcom will likely attribute the lack of sales to things other than the DRM.
    • by mvar (1386987)

      But DRM makes buyers look into piracy.

      This. Also, instead of investing so much money into DRM research, they could just cut game prices and see their sales go up. $80/60euro per game? Please.

    • If pirates are getting better service than paying customers, what do you expect?
    • by Zelgadiss (213127)

      No idea why publishers are so obsessed with DRM.

      So either it really does increase sales, or they are crazy.
      No one spends millions on some tech (DRM in this case) when there is no return.

      I'm not supporting this BS BTW, just wondering why.

      • For some reason, control is more important than profit to some companies.

        • by hjf (703092)

          Amen bro. This is especially true for Asian companies in general, and Japanese companies in particular.

          I work for LG (electronics repair) and they have a very strict way of doing stuff. If you screw up, even a single digit in a 20-digit serial number, they cancel your order, don't pay, and bill you for the parts you used for them. Sony has a similar policy. It's fine by me, I just overbill them as much as I can. In the end I get more money from them than if they tried to do things right (and let you, you kn

      • by Kjella (173770)

        You seem to think this is something that they experimentally test in a lab and determine to be true or false. Reality is that game launches are so unique depending on so many factors both internal to the game and external in the market that nobody really can measure it. The same game has never launched at the same time in the same way both with and without DRM - and if you did that'd be pointless because it would essentially be like launching without DRM.

        Publishers do things they think contribute positively

      • by Kaboom13 (235759)

        They are all convinced they are super smart industry leaders. As such, it is impossible that people might not think their game is not worth $50-$60 and not play it. So clearly if they haven't sold a copy for every man, woman, and child with access to a TV and electricity, the difference is clearly piracy.

      • profits fall, blame it on piracy. Plus you can dangle 'lost sales' figures in front of investors and say you'll get all that money once you implement phone home.

        One of the keys to selling that people always forget, it doesn't have to be true as long as the person buys & you've got enough plausible deniability to beat back the lawsuit.
    • by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:45AM (#35102464)

      How can you blame these poor little companies for implementing DRM? If one person copies a game, all must suffer! If you were a legitimate buyer, you'd know that...

      Oh, and, this is all Geohot's fault, not the people implementing the DRM or removing the features to feed their paranoia! That's right. All buyers must receive defective products because some people copy games. This makes sense to those of us who don't steal profit that doesn't yet exist.

    • Pirates will Pirate
      Buyers will give up and do something else .....

      The last DRM'ed game I bought took so long and so much hassle to get updated, running etc that it was easier and less hassle to download a hacked version and play that rather than the legit one I owned ...!

      DVDs are the same, the legit ones have so much unskippable rubbish on them that I consider getting a pirated version so I can watch the movie I have payed for ...

      • by cob666 (656740)
        This is an interesting point. Technically (perhaps not legally but I don't know if this has been challenged in court yet), if you have already purchased the game does it matter if you download a hacked version because it's easier to play?
        I regularly do this with PC games that require the CD be in to play, I will purchase the game and then download the No-CD crack for it.
  • I dont think so (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Friday February 04, 2011 @07:49AM (#35102202)
    The pirates will have a work around for this about a week after it comes out. It's the non-pirates that will have problems with it.
  • The odd thing about this is that even with the release of the console's important keys, it's still not practical to pirate PSN games. You can pirate PS3 games that come on a disc until you're blue in the face, but the tools don't exist to do so with newer PSN games - as a result only a small number of them can be pirated at the moment.

    Either Capcom knows something we don't know or they're preparing for the inevitable, because right now you'd be hard pressed to pirate BCR2 even without phone-home DRM.

    • by brandorf (586083)
      My understanding is that this protection stops the "causal sharing" of PSN games, i.e. the Sony supplied ability to install your PSN games on five different PS3s. Currently I can create a user account for myself, log in to PSN and download any game from my PSN account, and so long as that user account is on the PS3, they have access to those games, without needing my PSN account details beyond that (i.e. I don't have to give them my password). This additional protection would prevent that.
  • It just went through the hassle of dealing with Steam support because I was unable to access my account to play Civ V.
    Response time was a little over 24 hours and they call this customer service.

    This was the last time I purchased a game with DRM because only pirated DRM games are customer friendly!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Spad (470073)

      Not to defend Steam here, but 24 hours isn't a bad resolution time for a service which, to my knowledge, doesn't actually have any stated SLAs for support.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Try playing a Steam-powered game on a marginal internet connection sometime. It will take longer to connect to your Steam account than it will to launch the damned game. Or you can set offline mode and then it STILL connects to Steam. WTF?

  • But with they can stick that game where the sun doesn't shine, for me. I hope it sells really bad.

    • by macshit (157376)

      Indeed.

      I must say, it's kinda nice of Capcom to give such a clear and unambiguous reason not to buy "Bionic Commando Rearmed 2" -- often it's kind of hard to decide whether to buy a game ("is it worth the money?".. "do I trust reviewer X?"... "should I finish up those other games first ...?"), but no such problem here....

  • When a pirate throws a game at their console they get: a working game, with no call-home, most likely no requirement for stable internet connection, and a hassle-free gameplay experience. A legitimate user gets: a mostly working game, with call-home, requirement for a stable internet connection, and definitely not hassle-free gameplay experience should there be issues with the connection.

    Basically, this won't affect pirates at all. There is simply nothing stopping from someone releasing a crack for this game and it'll work just as peachy as ever. It's only legitimate customers being hurt here.

    When are game companies going to learn?

  • I have a collection of old game systems and enjoy playing them regularly. I just can't get my head around these current schemes. I am I right that it will be impossible to collect something like the PS3 and this Capcom game and play it 15 years from now, unless Capcom still has exists, the PS3 can still connect to the net, and Capcom still has their DRM servers running? It's incredible.
    • 15 years from now, unless Capcom still has exists, the PS3 can still connect to the net, and Capcom still has their DRM servers running? It's incredible.

      T&Cs - "Capcom reserve the right to shutdown the servers and use them for a newer game which people are now paying for thus screwing you out of your purchased product. Tick the box and click next if you understand this or just can't be bothered reading it".

    • by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie@NOsPAM.hotmail.com> on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:31AM (#35102370) Homepage

      I have a collection of old game systems and enjoy playing them regularly. I just can't get my head around these current schemes. I am I right that it will be impossible to collect something like the PS3 and this Capcom game and play it 15 years from now, unless Capcom still has exists, the PS3 can still connect to the net, and Capcom still has their DRM servers running? It's incredible.

      That's the whole plan: they don't want you to be able to play it 15 years from now, they want you to keep on buying.

      As for the DRM itself: sure, they _could_ release an update a few years from now that would disable the call-home feature. But there is no guarantee that they will. And even if they did then you'd have to go to lengths to preserve a copy of that update in case you have to re-format the HDD or something because it simply won't be available on any live servers anymore after so many years.

    • Well i guess you could buy the game for the packaging, leave it unopened, and pirate a DRM free copy for its actual playability... that being said as an avid gamer I will now think twice before purchasing a capcom game. I prefer to patronize companies who at least pay passing respect to that "treat people the way you would like to be treated"
    • In 15 years, you are expected to buy it again this time an version ported to the console in use at that time.
      The whole DRM thing, made me give up gaming on the PC(starforce made my hw look defective and i ended up buying new HW i didnt need) and lately I have given up on console also.
      Mostly because the have gotten the clever idea to sell a game at 110$(local price converted to $) which is only half the game. The rest you have to buy via DLC, so it is locked to you account or console and the resell value of

    • by sqlrob (173498)

      It's not Capcom's servers, it's Sony's.

      This protection is an API built into PSN.

  • We're so sorry that we created such an awful DRM system without telling you what we were doing ... to fix that problem and regain the trust of our customers we will now tell you exactly how badly our DRM system will screw over legitimate users. But at least we know that no one can find any way to crack the airtight PS3 security lockdown.

    And next time we come out with a game we'll make sure to have a completely non-invasive DRM scheme that simply involves implanting a CAPCOM chip in your frontal lobe so tha

  • by MeNeXT (200840) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:54AM (#35102524)

    I buy. I have 2 PS3's in my home one for the kids and one for me. I game on the average 5 to 10 hours a week.

    It was fun at the beginning with OtherOS. In regards to peoples complaint about pirates and cheating, I find it's more an issue of poor development. I do not see any noticeable change. Sometimes I'm in a game of BC2 that I can't seem to hit anything even when I empty 100 rounds in the back of some unsuspecting chap. Other times it feels that every confrontation I'm in I win. This applies to almost all MP games, CoDMW, MAG and so on... It's nothing new and it has not changed much since the jailbreak.

    I bought the systems for entertainment and in most cases to clear my mind form the day to day issues. Since Sony removed the Other OS I find the PS3 more of a means of frustration than a means of entertainment. Most of the time I have under an hour to play. These constant updates take over 15 minutes to complete and won't work in the background. Once installed and rebooted you go through a 2 to 5 minute wait just to get in to load the game and view all the ads. Once you're finally in you get a no games available message. It used to happen occasionally. Since the last update it seams to happen 4 out of 5 times. I initially thought it was my cable provider until I started researching on the net.

    My PS3's are no longer entertaining for MP purposes. I'm not alone, most of my friends got fed up before me. I'm not interested in SP games with the same problems. It's time to jailbreak and pirate, in this way I will still get some entertainment from my console. All this to say I will never purchase anymore products from Sony let alone any draconian DRM laden sh1t unless the attitude changes.

    • PS2 was the last actual games console, IMO. Since then, nobody has made an actual games console. The instant 'consoles' started practically requiring internet connections and firmware updates, they stopped being game consoles, and became something else. The console is dead. Long live the console!
    • by sustik (90111)

      Constant 15 minutes updates? Ads!?

      It is like you are in an abusive relationship, but cannot walk away... I am serious: you are taking an abuse that a normal person would not tolerate. Maybe there is something to game addiction.
      "to clear my mind form the day to day issues." - try exercise, sports, scrabble, jigsaw puzzle, listen to music as an alternative.
      I wish you well.

      • by guttentag (313541)
        Let's pretend for a moment that this was about something other than video games...

        I bought a bicycle and a bicycle license to use my bicycle in the park because I love riding in the park. I only have an hour to do so a few days a week, but I find it helps me clear my mind. But some kid spray painted a bench in the park, so the park hired a guard who stops everyone who enters now and frequently asks to see their papers. While I 15 minutes for him to run a background check based on my papers, I am treated

    • by Raenex (947668)

      In regards to peoples complaint about pirates and cheating, I find it's more an issue of poor development. I do not see any noticeable change. Sometimes I'm in a game of BC2 that I can't seem to hit anything even when I empty 100 rounds in the back of some unsuspecting chap. Other times it feels that every confrontation I'm in I win.

      That sounds like lag, not poor development. Though maybe it's poor that developers don't indicate when lag is happening. They prefer to lie for a smoother user experience (which works out OK when you've got minor lag). How to handle lag is a difficult problem for real-time games.

      Most of the time I have under an hour to play. These constant updates take over 15 minutes to complete and won't work in the background.

      The updates average less than once a month, can be downloaded automatically, and in my experience do not take 15 minutes to install. More like 5 minutes or less.

      Once installed and rebooted you go through a 2 to 5 minute wait just to get in to load the game and view all the ads.

      What ads? Is this a particular game that does this?

      Once you're finally in you get a no games available message. It used to happen occasionally. Since the last update it seams to happen 4 out of 5 times. I initially thought it was my cable provider until I started researching on the net.

      Is this just for a p

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