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EA Is Now Officially On Steam, Spore Loses SecuROM 354

Trevor DeRiza writes "Today, Valve and EA revealed that this week's earlier rumors were true: Spore (and other EA games) are coming to Steam. As of today, Spore, Spore Creepy & Cute Parts Pack, Warhammer Online, Mass Effect, Need for Speed: Undercover, and FIFA Manager 2009 are all available for download on Steam. In the coming weeks, EA will add Mirror's Edge, Dead Space, and Red Alert 3. On the official Steam forums, when asked whether or not Spore would contain the dreaded SecuROM DRM that contributed to it being the most pirated game of 2008, a moderator replied, 'It does not have third party DRM.' EA has also finally launched a 'de-authorization tool' to free up limited installation slots." Several readers have written to point out other news about Steam today: they've begun selling games priced in local currency for European customers. The only problem? Their conversion rate seems to be $1 per €1, somewhat less favorable than the current exchange rate, which is roughly $1.40 per €1.
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EA Is Now Officially On Steam, Spore Loses SecuROM

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  • AKA (Score:5, Funny)

    by psnyder ( 1326089 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:19PM (#26180583)
    The fight against DRM gains Steam.
    • Re:AKA (Score:5, Funny)

      by madhurms ( 736552 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:23PM (#26180611)
      all it needed was a valve!!
      • Re:AKA (Score:4, Insightful)

        by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Saturday December 20, 2008 @02:11AM (#26181971) Journal

        From the summary of the article "'It does not have third party DRM.'".

        A statement like this could mean anything like:
        -EA has removed all DRM from the title
        -EA has purchased the SecuROM code, and is still wrapping the game in this DRM
        -EA has come up with some other DRM scheme on it's own, details to come

        If this person was in HR, and was called for a reference, they would probably say something like "I would recommend nobody before this person for a job."

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Actually, they mean none of the above. They mean that it will be using Steam's DRM, which is probably some of the most unintrusive DRM out there. Basically, the games you buy are tied to your account, can be redownloaded any time however many times you want, etc etc. It's only restrictive in events where, for instance, Steam's login servers go down (which has only happened once, and they've fixed the problem since then), and it can be a bit of a hassle on slow connections, due to the fact that setting a gam
          • Re:AKA (Score:4, Insightful)

            by theaveng ( 1243528 ) on Saturday December 20, 2008 @08:03AM (#26183089)

            What happens in the year 2020?

            Will the server still be up-and-running to "authorize" my playing of Spore? I doubt it. And even if it is still operational there's a possibility a new EA CEO decides to "change strategy" and revoke all licenses to the Steam corporation, thereby deauthorizing all Steam users from playing EA games.

      • European prices (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Shin-LaC ( 1333529 ) on Saturday December 20, 2008 @07:17AM (#26182915)
        And Europeans got burned when it vented.

        I'm not sure why the slashdot editors have decided to combine two unrelated steam stories, effectively denying the localized price story its own discussion. Maybe nobody reads slashdot in Europe? I'd say that, for anyone interested in using Steam living in the EU, the huge price increases are much bigger news than the EA thing.

        How huge? For example, Call of Duty 4 went from 49,99 US$ to 71.97 US$ overnight, according to TFA. As a result, for most (all?) games on Steam it is now cheaper to buy them in brick-and-mortar stores, and you get a box too!

        It looks like the message is "If you want to be free from Securom, you'll have to pay more. Actually, scratch that, you'll just pay more regardless."
        • Re:European prices (Score:4, Insightful)

          by n3tcat ( 664243 ) on Saturday December 20, 2008 @11:42AM (#26183881)
          i live in europe and no, it's now the SAME to buy on steam as it's been to buy in regular stores for years now. When I goto mediamarkt and see a game for 60 that costs $50 online, it was a no brainer. Now I gotta actually shop around, because sometimes it would be cheaper to just buy the real thing rather than the virtual thing.
    • Re:AKA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:32PM (#26180701)

      Steam is DRM laden.

      How can Steam fight DRM?

      • Re:AKA (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Si-UCP ( 1359205 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @11:01PM (#26180871)

        Steam is DRM laden.

        How can Steam fight DRM?

        Steam's DRM, in my opinion, is much less intrusive than SecuROM. Sure, it requires an authentication server. Sure, it runs in the background while you're playing the game. But it's much less intrusive and much more transparent than installing a device driver (or something along the lines of that) that's hard to remove and putting a hard limit on the number of times a game can be authenticated.

        Think of it as a "gateway drug" to what I hope will be a DRM-free future, like what iTunes did with its less restrictive DRMing (and eventually, the lack of DRMing) of music downloads (yes, I know that iTunes still DRMs a majority of their content, but that's because Apple's deal with the RIAA restricts them from DRM-free sales).

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          The driver issue is the dealbreaker for me, i don't want ridiculous DRM code touching the kernel, ever. Using rootkits to prevent removal of kernel code is even more absurd.

        • Re:AKA (Score:5, Funny)

          by Ceriel Nosforit ( 682174 ) on Saturday December 20, 2008 @07:07AM (#26182873)

          Hey, don't bring drugs into this. Drugs' spokesperson announces that drugs have no affiliation what so ever with DRM and do not wish to have their name tarnished by the association.

        • Re:AKA (Score:5, Insightful)

          by AlexMax2742 ( 602517 ) on Saturday December 20, 2008 @10:35AM (#26183587)

          Sorry, but DRM will never go away as long as piracy still exists. Zero-day and Day-one warez cannibalize PC game sales, and as long as DRM prevents that, they're golden.

          Steam is really no better, it's just that it hasn't had the same sort of character assassination that SecuROM and Starforce have gone through because they happen to have made HL2.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            DRM does not stop zero day warez. Spore, for example, has some of the most insane drm in existence on it and was pirated several days before it was released. So, how does drm in this situation do anything useful against piracy at all? Steam adds value, that's why it is better. i don't really care to crack steam games, usually because it's just flat out easier (and often cheaper vs a bricks and mortar store for us australians) to buy from steam than it is to dl a cracked copy. That's the reason it's not
      • Re:AKA (Score:5, Interesting)

        by binaryspiral ( 784263 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @11:05PM (#26180893)

        DRM in and of itself isn't evil, in fact Steam brings a lot of features that make it actually appealing to me.

        No media, no serial numbers, just a single username and password for all my games.

        • Re:AKA (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Firethorn ( 177587 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @11:31PM (#26181063) Homepage Journal

          No media, no serial numbers, just a single username and password for all my games.

          Free unlimited downloads, relatively automatic updates, etc... Though changing the install directory could be good.

          I bought Crysis through the EA store download method as an experiment. While I captured the download file that should allow me to reinstall, I'm not sure I'd be able to today. With steam, that wouldn't be a problem.

          I have to agree, I like steam. They manage to do online download gaming right.

          • by Sparr0 ( 451780 ) <> on Saturday December 20, 2008 @12:10AM (#26181289) Homepage Journal

            I see so much praise for Steam these days. Has it improved significantly over the monstrosity I swore off ~four years ago? I am talking about the years when you could not play a Steam game offline if you did not put yourself into offline mode while still online. Steam trying to authenticate itself killed the network at dozens of LAN parties, and that behavior could not be stopped without closing Steam.

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward

              I haven't fucked with Steam since they banned the account linked to my copy of Half-Life 2 with no provocation and no warning. They refused to amend the issue in any way. DRM is a bad idea as long as the company handling it has the ability to take your games away from you.

          • Re:AKA (Score:4, Informative)

            by Cylix ( 55374 ) on Saturday December 20, 2008 @04:19AM (#26182455) Homepage Journal

            The crysis binary you captured includes a hashing mechanism that will only allow the installer binary to run on that computer.

            So yes, it will allow you to re-install, assuming you don't change whatever vital components they use to fingerprint the host.

        • Re:AKA (Score:5, Interesting)

          by GuldKalle ( 1065310 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @11:48PM (#26181163)

          No reselling of your games...

        • Re:AKA (Score:5, Insightful)

          by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @11:53PM (#26181201) Journal

          DRM in and of itself isn't evil, in fact Steam brings a lot of features that make it actually appealing to me.

          No media, no serial numbers, just a single username and password for all my games.

          You forgot "no right of first sale".

          If you can't sell it, is it really yours?

          • by Chyeld ( 713439 )

            More to the point, if it walks like a duck and looks like a duck, and I can use it to pick up pretty girls. Do I really care if it can quack like a duck?

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              Only if you have a quacking fetish, which, after hearing about you using ducks to pickup girls, i have to wonder...

          • You can still sell your account credentials.
          • Re:AKA (Score:5, Informative)

            by Chaos Incarnate ( 772793 ) on Saturday December 20, 2008 @01:21AM (#26181711) Homepage
            At least, unlike boxed games that no chain will buy used, Valve doesn't pretend that it's a first sale; it's treated as a license, and you're informed of that before purchasing the license.
          • It is not a purchase. You are renting the software. End users are no different than massive corporations.

            It may not be logical to you but that don't make it wrong.


            Mild Bill

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Haeleth ( 414428 )

            Just think of it as a consumable, rather than an asset.

            You don't expect to be able to re-sell a restaurant meal, or a pint of beer, or a night at the movies. Do you "own" them? Maybe not, but I don't see many people whining about that.

          • Re:AKA (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Shihar ( 153932 ) on Saturday December 20, 2008 @10:12AM (#26183483)

            The fact that you can't resell it might matter it someone, put it doesn't to me. I can count on one hand the number of times I have sold my computer games... zero.

            Even if you sold every single computer game it just means you are giving yourself a $10 discount in the future. Whoop-de-fucking-do. Personally, I find the fact that I can never lose a video game again to be vastly more useful than the fact that I can't pawn it off.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by AuMatar ( 183847 )

          And all it takes is one database quirk to lose them all at once. Or one person to steal/guess your password. No thanks. I guess I've bought my last PC game from EA.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by psnyder ( 1326089 )
        Then perhaps just:
        "Spore's DRM is Half-life'd"?

        It is an improvement, after all...
      • Steam DRM doesn't limit you at all compared to modern DRM. You can play without an internet connection, at your friends house, etc.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          You can play without an internet connection (within restrictions) after you have set up the machine using an internet connection. You can play at your friend's house, but not without an internet connection.

          Most importantly, you cannot sell your games or loan them to your friends, as you don't own them. And if Valve decides you have violated their terms of service and cut off your account, you lose all the games you "owned".

          If they can take it away, then I never really owned it.

          Steam limits you a lot. You ju

      • Yes, but Steam has assured us that in the eventuality of their auth servers going down, they'd give us ways to continue playing.

        Also, any computer than can run the Steam client can install and play any game you've purchased via Steam. An unlimited number of installs, without the need to authenticate, then deauthenticate as you install on a new system.

        Yes, it's DRM, in a technical sense, but in a practical sense, it's almost a liberating as owning a 100% un-DRMed game CD that does not do disk checking.

        I woul

    • Re:AKA (Score:4, Insightful)

      by kat_skan ( 5219 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:55PM (#26180829)

      Steam is DRM. It controls what you can and can't do with a product you have bought and paid for. It's dependent on activation servers, which it contacts every time you launch a game, just like Spore was going to before the outcry.

      In a very meaningful sense it's less abhorrent than SecuROM, as it doesn't go out of its way dig its tendrils into the OS, breaking random things and throwing hissy fits if it finds innocuous software it doesn't like. There's no bullshit "activations" to use up, and it doesn't leave bits of itself behind when you uninstall it.

      But in other ways it's worse. You don't really own a Steam game. You can't loan a copy of a Steam game to a friend, or sell it to someone, or even give it away for free, except in specific cases where Valve decides to let you. If something happened to Valve, or they just decided they didn't like the cut of your jib and aren't going to let you play your game anymore, you'd be shit out of luck.

      • We used to let our friends log in with our Steam accounts to play Counterstrike back in the day. We were never all using our accounts at the same time, so it worked fine. And despite the fact that I've gone through about 5 computers since then, I can still boot up Steam and have my games running without wondering what the hell I did with my CD-key.
        • To put it another way, while I've given up the ability(for now) to lend/sell/give away my games, on the other hand I'm also able to play any games in the future with relatively no problems, simply by re-downloading it.

          As the success of iTunes and such shows, the ability to redownload your purchases whenever you want often trumps the portability/sellability of physical mediums.

          As all my friends are either non-gamers or get the same games anyways, it's not a big deal there, and I like occasionally playing an

          • by lgw ( 121541 )

            You *can* still sell all of your games with Steam. What you can't do is sell *some* of your games.

            Personally, I really enjoy going back and playing games 5 years or so after they were new, and come back to them 5 years after that and so on. Steam makes that a breeze. Trying to install and patch old games if I've switched PCs a few times and the company went out of business is a real pain. Of course, if Valve goes out of business I'm screwed, but the moment they srated selling Pop-Cap games, I stopped wo

      • Steam is DRM, but it's very clever DRM. As for not being able to share games, just give your friends your account information. Oh, yeah, I mean, if you can't trust them you might have some problems... but, I trust all my friends... I think...

        That's a good question to ask someone, "Do you trust your friends?"

        "Oh yeah, I sure do!"

        "Yeah, but would you let them use your Steam account you've spent like, 600 dollars on?"

        • "Clever" probably isn't the best way to put it, as that seems to me like it's talking about the technical design. What I would say is that it's DRM that rewards the user; in exchange for losing some options, you gain a boatload of features (like download-anywhere) that you wouldn't have otherwise.
      • Re:AKA (Score:5, Insightful)

        by arkhan_jg ( 618674 ) on Saturday December 20, 2008 @02:08AM (#26181961)

        Nor can more than one person play from your steam game list at a time. What if I want to play TF2 while another of my household plays another online game from my list? You can't. You can hack about with offline mode for single player games, but for multiplayer, only one person can play from your list at a time. This has become more of a problem as time goes on. Short of creating a new steam account for every single different game, they've very effectively tied your entire list of software to single-user only - it's even more restrictive than secuROM in it's way.

        Now, steam makes up for it with the plus points in some ways, but we should be wary of cheering on putting more and more of our games at a single point of failure.

  • Finally! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:26PM (#26180643)

    Now I can buy Spore! I knew they'd drop it sooner or later and then I can finally buy it.

    Wait... why would I?

    Maybe the lesson here is, if you avoid DRM like the plague, you avoid buying overhyped games as a beneficial side effect.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by narcberry ( 1328009 )

      Well I was excited to try it, and I will now.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by poetmatt ( 793785 )

      Lets rephrase:

      "we've replaced a very restrictive form of DRM with another form of DRM. How do you like it?"

      opportunist (166417): "I LOVE IT! *hands cash*"

      This is not the drm you are looking for.

      Steam is DRM - its better, but still DRM.

      • Re:Finally! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Firethorn ( 177587 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @11:48PM (#26181169) Homepage Journal

        Steam is DRM - its better, but still DRM.

        But maybe it'll convince EA that at least over restrictive DRM IS an issue - and SECUROM, limited installs, complicated activation schemes and all that is the incorrect method to go about doing DRM.

        Or maybe a correct wording would be 'you can't get something for nothing' - you CAN get consumers to accept DRM as long as you offer true advantages to go along with it. I happen to like the idea that even if my house is struck by a meterorite and everything is destroyed I'd be able to play my games again as soon as I got a new computer and an internet connection.

      • It is as usual a matter of magnitude and a question of how much you're willing to accept.

        Yes, Steam imposes a form of DRM. So far I didn't decide that I accept it, contrary to your assumption. I know your plight, and I miss the sarcasm tags just as much as you do.

        The question is now, how much do people accept? Steam offers a solution most people find acceptable, so it will prevail. It does not allow you to play more than one game from your account at the same time, it puts your game to some extent into the

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by poetmatt ( 793785 )

          I know you caught the sarcasm, thankfully.

          I would like to just see the DRM dance end, really. When DRM that people don't notice is "perfected", the same situation as now will occur: The smart people will figure out how to get around it, and the rest will happily lap up.

          I have portal on my steam account which I rarely if ever use; should you wish to play it you can use mine. Just leave me some comment with a way to contact you or something.

  • Maybe I will purchase EA games again. I gave up on them after I tried to no end to get Battlefield 2142 to run just half way decently. I now buy most of my games through Steam, which means I miss out on a few titles, but the advantages of Steam far out weigh missing out on them for me.
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by narcberry ( 1328009 )

      What are the benefits exactly? Digital download?

      I don't know why Steam is so popular, seems like another point of failure to me. Someone please sell me on Steam.

      • by FishWithAHammer ( 957772 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:50PM (#26180799)

        Digital download. Ability to download your games on as many machines as you want (and play on one at a time, which I consider fair). Integrated grouping/friends-lists with Steam Friends and a built-in matchmaker.

        It's pretty excellent.

        • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

          The only major feature Steam is lacking IMO is storing and being able to download your save games. Having your game installed at your buddy's house doesn't really matter much if you can't pick up where you left off.

          Yes, you could just copy the save game files and take them with you, but it's something that could easily be seamless on Steam's part and should be.

      • Digital download?

        Is there any other kind?

        Or does "digital" now mean "not on CD"?

        • by Arthur Grumbine ( 1086397 ) on Saturday December 20, 2008 @12:13AM (#26181299) Journal

          Digital download?

          Is there any other kind?

          Back in my day we only had analog downloads! And we were glad to have any at all! Why, if we wanted to play a video game one of us had to mentally interpret and reconstruct the current running through our hands back into the original binary! Then we had to crack the DRM - by slamming our heads just right against a stone wall to purge it from our memory. And we were grateful for the opportunity!

          Then our father would cut us in two wit' a bread knife.

        • by lysergic.acid ( 845423 ) on Saturday December 20, 2008 @01:11AM (#26181649) Homepage

          i prefer analog downloads using real steam. unfortunately, it took me several ruined hard drives to realize that analog steam downloads are incompatible with digital storage media. but i finally got a water tank installed in my computer, and it's been working great ever since.

          see, whenever you download something the steam travels through a network of pressurized pipes--a series of tubes, if you will--until it finally reaches the computer, at which point it has to go through the Steam Condenser System Interface (SCSI) before it's finally written to the liquid state drive.

          it is quite dangerous since the pipes are filled with highly pressurized scalding hot steam. if the network link ever becomes oversaturated it can easily result in packet loss and 3rd degree burns. but i think it's worth the risk. analog steam is perfect for cloud applications and downloading vaporware.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by svallarian ( 43156 )

      EA was only partially at fault. Dice just designed the game badly and didn't test worth a damn against Vista clients before releasing it to the masses. Now whether or not that EA forced them to release early is something else, but just look at the SIZE of the patches for BF2 and BF2142. 512MB for the last BF2 patch...compared to the smaller 16-30MB patches for CoD4. It just screams bad early design.

  • Well. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Warll ( 1211492 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:28PM (#26180659) Homepage
    Well about time. About what two years ago I bought BattleField 21**, they had released it with their then new downloading service. It was, annoying to say the least, your account had to match the email you had used to buy, not that this was well sated. After that things only got worse, on my end at least, the service went through two other names till a year or so later I come back and try to play the game I bought. Guess what? They donâ(TM)t even have my account anymore! Turns out at some point in time they decided that I would only be able to download my purchase X amount of days after I bought it, oh and it was retroactive. Of course they never sent me a check for the money they stole. Well at least they're smartening up now.
    • by Barny ( 103770 )

      There was an "extended download" option (about an extra $5) that you would have unticked to save some extra cash on that purchase.

      I got the 2 x-pacs for BF2 in the same way, I have since lost my BF2 disks but I can still download the update packs.

      Not defending this opt-in, just stateing that at the time you purchased they were doing that kind of thing, I was "this close" to opting out as well, then I figured, what the hell.

  • No problem (Score:5, Funny)

    by sleeponthemic ( 1253494 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:39PM (#26180733) Homepage

    The only problem? Their conversion rate seems to be $1 per â1, somewhat less favorable than the current exchange rate, which is roughly $1.40 per â1.

    Yeah but they don't have to physically ship pixels when they change money. Pixels are heavy, bytes are dense.. it's a complicated system of pipes and transmission lines.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:44PM (#26180767)

    Its been widely hypothesized that EA's intent with the DRM on Spore was not really to prevent piracy, but to impede second-hand sales. Doesn't Steam do exactly the same thing? Can you feasibly resell a license/copy of a game purchased on Steam?

    • I don't know about Spore, but you can de-authorize Half-Life and sell that component.

      You can also sell the Steam account as a whole.

  • Run as Admin (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Now why, why on earth would Mass Effect be required to Run as Administrator?

    For most of the games it also says "INTERNET CONNECTION AND END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT REQUIRED TO PLAY." Well, yeah, Steam games already require that. Are they trying to say that Offline mode is disabled for that particular game? There an extra EULA hand-crafted by EA on top of the Steam one?

    This all sounds very suspicious to me.

  • Sorry. I won't install Steam, either. I've been very consistent on this point. It's the reason I still haven't played Half-Life 2.

    It may also be worth pointing out that, since a company the size of EA believes Steam is a reasonable substitute for SecuROM, that Steam may not all the harmless sugardrops and fairydust that its supporters have been adamantly claiming all these years. Which is, pretty much, what I suspected all along...


    • by Broken scope ( 973885 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @11:16PM (#26180959) Homepage

      No one is claiming anything about steam.

      It is what it is.

      A service that allows you to buy(rent), download your game to any computer with the client, and play. It has a functional offline mode that works for every valve developed or published title I have played. It has introduced me a to few indie games that were fun. The prices are good, and I've bought most of my games on discount. It has community features that I find useful. It keeps my game up to date.

      It is the only authentication system that actually gives you something in return for authenticating your game, and it doesn't bitch about me having virtual drive software.

      The only major issues I've had with a game on steam was when a publisher(THQ not Valve) decided that the steam authentication wasn't good enough and decided it needed another DRM solution on top of steam, and it didn't let me actually play the game while their authentication severs were buggered.

      Steam is what it is. Nothing more nothing less.

      • It is the only authentication system that actually gives you something in return for authenticating your game, and it doesn't bitch about me having virtual drive software.

        Well, there's also stardock []

        , but their game list is more second-tier, if you know what I mean.

        Steam is winning on number of games in my list right now, mostly due to their offering package deals quite frequently, as well as the 75% off deals. Even though I have a physical CD somewhere, I might just buy their 75% off($5) Stalker deal right now.

    • by Draek ( 916851 )

      Or, it could mean that EA has finally seen the light and is trying to be an actual videogame company instead of the marketing-driven behemoth pushing yearly crap it has been until now, and is now trying to sell good games in consumer-friendly formats for a change.

      Call me naive, but after Mirror's Edge I'm willing to give them the benefit of doubt, and if IBM could change, so can EA.

  • Wait a minute... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drakin020 ( 980931 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @11:30PM (#26181059)

    I am seeing praise here that they are dropping the SecureROM for Steam.


    The way I see it, I still have to rely on some kind of authentication server in order to play my games. What if 10 years down the road I want to play some spore, and Steam is no longer online. What then?

    Sorry, but I still refuse to buy until I have a hard copy in my hands that I can install at any place any time.

    • Re:Wait a minute... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by JimboFBX ( 1097277 ) on Saturday December 20, 2008 @12:07AM (#26181279)
      If steam went under, someone would probably release a hacked steam client that lets you play without authentication (similar to offline mode in steam but without the week-long or whatever it is timelimit). They might also do a client update that would do the same.

      I find that very unlikely though. Steam would be bought out and passed around before it would go away. Its like trying to imagine a once popular website going away. Think about the sites from the '90s you dont use anymore, like or They're STILL there.
      • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

        by Koiu Lpoi ( 632570 )
        Uh, yeah, somebody probably would release a hack. Like the one that already exists for non-steam Spore. So what you're saying is that it's no different?
  • "The only problem? Their conversion rate seems to be $1 per 1, somewhat less favorable than the current exchange rate, which is roughly $1.40 per 1. "

    Man, this is a huge step in the right direction and this all you can fucking think of?

  • Contrary to the headline, I think the prices are all "locally adjusted". Left 4 Dead is now £26.99 where it was $49.99 (£33.34), so that is discounted. However World of Goo was $19.99 (£13.33) but has now gone up to £16.99.

    So I'll carry on checking against / Game boxed prices for big releases. For indie titles, it's always worth looking at the $ price they charge on their own web site, which are sometimes more and sometimes less than what Steam

    • by mattbee ( 17533 )

      Ah, oops, headline was talking about EUR prices, I am talking about GBP. That *is* insane if they're suddenly asking 50EUR for Left 4 Deaad ($70) though.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27