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Games Your Rights Online

Can You Fight DRM With Patience? 309

As modern DRM schemes get more annoying and invasive, the common wisdom is to vote with your wallet and avoid supporting developers and publishers who include such schemes with their games. Or, if you simply must play it, wait a while until outcry and complaints have caused the DRM restrictions to be loosened. But will any of that make game creators rethink their stance? An article at CNet argues that gamers are, in general, an impatient bunch, and that trait combined with the nature of the games industry means that progress fighting DRM will be slow or nonexistent. Quoting: "Increasingly so, the joke seems to be on the customers who end up buying this software when it first comes out. A simple look back at some controversial titles has shown us that after the initial sales come, the publisher later removes the vast majority of the DRM, leaving gamers to enjoy the software with fewer restrictions. ... Still, [waiting until later to purchase the game] isn't a good long-term solution. Early sales are often one of the big quantifiers in whether a studio will start working on a sequel, and if everyone were to wait to buy games once they hit the bargain price, publishers would simply stop making PC versions. There's also no promise that the really heavy bits of DRM will be stripped out at a later date, except for the fact that most publishers are unlikely to want to maintain the cost of running the activation, and/or online verification servers for older software."
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Can You Fight DRM With Patience?

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  • by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <sopssa@email.com> on Thursday March 18, 2010 @05:42AM (#31520334) Journal

    It doesn't need to be long time - this week EA removed SecuROM from Bad Company 2, only two weeks after release date. It's just the first sales and trying to make sure pirated version doesn't get out too early, even if that's not usually possible (wasn't now either). But EA has been really good at learning this, either they ship their game without any DRM or release it after a few weeks of first sales if pirated version is out already. As weird as it sounds to say this about EA, I wish Ubisoft and Activision would learn from them.

  • by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <sopssa@email.com> on Thursday March 18, 2010 @05:48AM (#31520358) Journal

    Why would you use something like Zune for streaming to 360, especially if you're ripping your files yourself from DVD so they don't contain any DRM? Granted I rather stream to my PS3 than 360 because I like the interface and PS3 Media Server [google.com] better, but TVersity works just fine with 360 too. Maybe there's some specialized 360 streaming software too like PS3 has. But streaming from Windows Media Player or Zune is just shit. Try the alternatives.

  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Thursday March 18, 2010 @06:08AM (#31520438) Journal

    Why would you use something like Zune for streaming to 360

    Good question! Where would I get such a crazy idiotic idea?! Perhaps it was the fact that the manufacturer of both my gaming system and operating system (of that machine) suggested it [microsoft.com]? And at what point in the future of TVersity does a fancy little update to my XBox 360 render TVersity useless?

    Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the link to TVersity and will try it out at home but Microsoft disabled third party storage on the XBox 360, how long before they get bored and engage in a little cat-and-mouse game with TVersity? I wish I could drop $300 and get a PS3 and use your suggestion but I don't think I should have to invest that much in order to watch The Final Sacrifice streaming from my personal computer to my TV.

    But streaming from Windows Media Player or Zune is just shit.

    Honestly, everything was working in an acceptable manner right up until something happened to my C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\DRM files. Is it WMP & Zune that are shit or is it just the DRM? I know I'm not going to be Mr. Popular for saying this but Zune software is just as good/bad as the iTunes software. Its UI is pretty. It's bloated. It's "free" as in the executable's downloadable but you just have to pay a lot of money in auxiliary products to be able to use it.

  • by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @06:22AM (#31520508) Homepage

    EA didn't remove DRM, they replaced DRM. Instead of SecuROM on the Steam copies of that game you get the Steam DRM (erm... still have the Steam DRM).

  • by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @06:26AM (#31520528) Homepage

    Respectable stores like Steam will warn you about the types of DRM used by the game in clear terms

    Steam only warns about the additional/external DRM, not about itself. There is no "Warning: to play this game you need to be logged in on Steam and have the game fully updated"

  • by pandrijeczko ( 588093 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @06:30AM (#31520546)

    I agree, and I've played games for over a quarter of a century now (Damn! My fingers are tired!).

    In that time I've seen some *CRAZY* game protection schemes including Lenslok [wikipedia.org] on Sinclair ZX Spectrum games, as well as unlock keys generated from coloured stripes in manuals (because in those days there were only black & white photocopiers).

    Nowadays, I don't think any of it is acceptable because I'm a cynical old man in his 40s. But in those days, it used to piss me off a little, but it didn't stop me buying more protected games and/or copying them - so whilst I don't have much good to say about most modern games, I can see why kids today are putting up with the same crap I was willing to put up with.

    The only thing that was better "then" was that the protection wasn't as intrusive - i.e. you put in a code, then went off and played the games. These days there's information being retrieved from your PC and console, stored on some centralised server somewhere...

  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Thursday March 18, 2010 @08:29AM (#31521224) Journal

    Going for media playing solutions from the likes of Sony, Microsoft or Apple is like tatooing on your forhead "I'm a Dumb Media Bitch".

    Oh sweet! I have to have it! How much and who do I have to pay to get it in Official Comic Sans MS ©?

    But in all seriousness I thought I was just bending over backwards to play by the rules although in reality it seems I've been grabbing my ankles so the rich can get richer.

  • by IBBoard ( 1128019 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:29AM (#31521856) Homepage

    But Assassin's Creed 2 doesn't have a need for a CD, so no-CD cracks won't work. And Ubisoft said that their new "always online" DRM is proof against anything, so there's not going to be a "no-Internet" crack and even the 'real' gamers will be stuck with it :(

    Oh, hang on [slashdot.org]...

  • by Deathsoldier11 ( 1657455 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @01:19PM (#31524734)
    They only removed the DRM from the Steam copy of the game. Since Steam has it's own form of DRM, EA thought that was good enough.

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard