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Valve's Gabe Newell On DRM 241

Ars Technica is running a story about recent comments by Valve's Gabe Newell in which he bluntly stated, "As far as DRM goes, most DRM strategies are just dumb. The goal should be to create greater value for customers through service value (make it easy for me to play my games whenever and wherever I want to), not by decreasing the value of a product (maybe I'll be able to play my game and maybe I won't)." Ars then points out a response by Microsoft's Games for Windows Community Manager Ryan Miller suggesting Rockstar Games' recent decision not to have install limits for the PC version of GTA IV made the use of SecuROM acceptable. GameSetWatch has a related piece discussing the difficulty in measuring piracy and enforcing infringement laws.
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Valve's Gabe Newell On DRM

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  • Piracy, oh really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kvezach ( 1199717 ) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @04:46AM (#25986289)
    DRM can't be about piracy. In the very best case, it's about opening day piracy; any longer and the cracks are already out, and you don't have to be a wizard to go to TPB or GameCopyWorld and download them.
  • Re:I like Steam (Score:5, Interesting)

    by D.A. Zollinger ( 549301 ) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @06:20AM (#25986831) Homepage Journal

    what's the problem?

    The problem is that once you purchase the game, you cannot return it, you cannot sell it, and you cannot give it away/transfer it to another party.

    As well, despite the fact that the steam version has no packaging costs, no printing costs, no warehousing costs, no stocking, shipping, or handling costs, you are still paying the same for the game as everyone else who bought it in the store.

    Finally, the Steam store does not answer to market concerns, and operates arbitrarily. For example: In most stores, once the demand for a game has worn off, the price comes down in order to move the remaining copies of a game to make room for new games. In the Steam store, costs remain the same until the vendor authorizes a price reduction based on arbitrary decisions (increase sales volume, allow for pricing difference between game and sequel, etc.).

    The technology embedded in Steam would allow for the first issue to be resolved, should Valve care to pursue this. As well, a second Steam store, not operated by Valve, yet accessible on the Steam system would ensure that the last two issues are properly addressed.

  • Re:I like Steam (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kattspya ( 994189 ) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @08:35AM (#25987465)
    Hmmm... looks like you're right. The normal behavior for STEAM is to just fall back to offline mode when it can't reach the servers. I just disabled my network connection and tried to start STEAM and it wouldn't run in offline mode. After going online without updating anything and then trying again offline mode worked fine. Perhaps there is some silly timeout or maybe it bugs out but that behavior isn't acceptable. Try contacting customer support and ask what the hell is up.
  • Re:I like Steam (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @11:53AM (#25989505) Journal

    Have you considered taking them to court? $350 is about the right amount to make it worthwhile going to small claims court. The nice thing about small claims court, no lawyers. I'd argue that the clauses in their TOS allowing them to terminate service on a mere belief of wrongdoing, with no appeal or arbitration process, or refund of any kind are unconscionable. Look into it. At the very least, you'll cause Valve $350 worth of trouble, and it might even make a nice story for /.

  • by danieltdp ( 1287734 ) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:49PM (#25990453)

    My case was very simple. A friend of mine bought Half Life 2 and didn't liked it (crazy guy...), so he gave me the game.

    Only then I figured out that it is impossible to transfer a game from one account to another! There is no way I can play the game without stopping him from playing his other games. I contacted steam support and they just told me that it is impossible to transfer the game.

    This really sucks. I, for one, just began to hate valve and steam. I don't intend to spend my money there ever again.

  • Re:I like Steam (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @04:28PM (#25993827)

    I just feel that it should be pointed out that the 'no lawyers' thing only applies to individuals suing individuals, not individuals suing a company or the other way around.

    A corp like Valve is a legal entity not a person, when they go to small claims court they are allowed to be represented by a lawyer on the corps behalf. Don't think for a second that by suing them you're going to meet Gabe and be able to have a battle of wits in front of the judge.

    You'll meet one of their lawyers who will promptly tear you a new legal asshole and you'll get thrown out. Unless you happen to get lucky enough to come before the judge who is sympathetic to the individual, which does happen in small claims.

The one day you'd sell your soul for something, souls are a glut.