Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Valve's Gabe Newell On DRM

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the he's-pretty-steamed dept.

Games 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.

cancel ×

241 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I like Steam (4, Insightful)

iamwhoiamtoday (1177507) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986281)

I really like how Steam currently works. Only one computer can be logged into the same account at a time, I can download / install all games on any computer, it works (mostly) in Wine. I also don't have to mess around with disks.

Steam seems to me to be a rather effective method of DRM. I can only be logged into the account from ONE computer at a time, and I can play my games. what's the problem?

Re:I like Steam (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25986361)

My account was deactivated and they simply refused to tell me why, just that it was shut down due to suspicious activity (I had steam installed on about 6 computers that I own). They actually suggested I could create a new account and purchase the games again if i wanted to play. If you think you own the software you purchase through Steam, you are dead wrong. Valve can flip a switch and turn it off whenever they want. I'll never buy another game from steam or another Valve product ever again. I'll just download any new half life games from isohunt. the way I see it, they owe me about 350 dollars so I'll simply download anything I want to cover that

Re:I like Steam (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25986455)

Actually, my fear with steam is not the account being disabled- that did happen once, they then fixed it after a week. But VAC bans, as in, someone steals your password, cheats on the account, gets it VAC'd, then you lose the value of every multiplayer game in your Steam account. They'll undo disables- they will NOT undo VAC bans.

Re:I like Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25989261)

My beef with steam is that I have multiple games across two accounts, and they won't let me combine them. I have the HL1 Platinum pack on one account, then when I purchased HL2 (with CS:S, HL: Source, etc), I forgot about the old account [I made the first account when I was like 12 or 13]. I got Orange Box as a gift, and, since I hadn't played any HL games in 1-2 years, I forgot both accounts. I ended up retrieving the first one since it was email based, rather than username based. Thus I have: HL1 Plat + OB on one account, and CS:S on another. I submitted a help request for Steam, submitting also proof of purchase FOR ALL GAMES, along with original boxes, confirmation of account creation (the print outs I found stashed away), yet they said I'd have to re-buy everything to put it on one account. Such BS. Now I have to maintain 2 friends lists, and switch accounts to switch between TF2 and CS:S.

Re:I like Steam (1)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#25989371)

If you can get into the account, why not just gift your main account with the games?

If you can't get into your account, doesn't it make sense that they wouldn't remove games from an account you can't really prove is yours?

Re:I like Steam (1, Flamebait)

anomnomnomymous (1321267) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987133)

Wow, somehow I don't believe a thing of what you're saying there: How convenient of you to post as an AC...

I had some small problems with my creditcard not being accepted (after already having bought a few games over Steam that way), and my account getting locked.
It took one email, where they immedeately re-activated the account, and told me that they found the use of the CC suspicious (as I was staying in the UK at the time; not the country I had been buying the previous games from).

A friend of mine was also locked out of his account, and also had the same customer-focused replies that I got.

So quit the bullshitting, or put your money where your mouth is and at least post under a non-anonymous nickname.

Re:I like Steam (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25987277)

Yeah, taking 5 minutes to signup for a /. account makes your story so much more believable.

anomnomnomymous. you are a fuckwad.

even the captcha agrees: pinhead.

Re:I like Steam (4, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987311)

So what that he posted AC, it doesn't change the fact that Valve has a kill switch for your steam account and therefore all games associated with that. That's a form of DRM I also don't like. And for that reason I don't play steam games.

Re:I like Steam (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987619)

I used to play a lot of Half Life mods, particularly CounterStrike. When Steam came out, I installed it and used it a bit, but it had numerous issues and when I had to reinstall Windows I didn't put it back. Since I bought Half Life, I still have the option of playing the last pre-Steam version (although I don't know if anyone still runs servers for it). I wrote to Gabe at the time to explain my decision when I got the 'you haven't logged in to your Steam account for 30 days' email, and explained that I would not be buying any future games that required Steam.

Given the number of people who defend Steam on /. I think he's probably right about people not caring about the DRM. For me, it's a simple question of value. Anything I buy from Steam, or any other DRM source, only works as long as the seller wants it to work. It's the equivalent of something bought 'sold as seen' from a dodgy guy at a car boot sale. It may or may not ever work, but if it's cheap enough then I might consider it. Steam games are not cheap enough to warrant this risk.

Re:I like Steam (1)

Nocterro (648910) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987703)

It may or may not ever work, but if it's cheap enough then I might consider it. Steam games are not cheap enough to warrant this risk.

The award winning Audio-surf [audio-surf.com] was recently sold at a cost of $2 on Steam for a week. I grabbed it, and it's a cool little game. Not everything on Steam is a full traditional game; it has a wide range.

Re:I like Steam (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987995)

I won't touch Steam.

It's not that the games don't interest me, it's (a) the fact that I'm exposing my machine to their kill-switch and (b) the fact that I should never, EVER have to go through "activation" bullshit to play a single-player game.

Steam carries DRM. I do everything in my power to (a) remove DRM from the things I purchase where it cannot be avoided and (b) avoid it the rest of the time.

Sorry, Valve. You get in bed with DRM, you lose business. THAT is how DRM really works.

Re:I like Steam (2, Insightful)

robot_love (1089921) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988447)

Sorry, Valve. You get in bed with DRM, you lose business. THAT is how DRM really works.

...except Valve is doing quite well and selling a lot of games. Something about your logic isn't right.

Re:I like Steam (1)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988005)

First of all, posting anonymously would be wise when you're making the point that you intend to pirate games to your hearts content - and I'm sure that was the motive in doing so. Not to mention the trivial nature of signing up for another account here, anyway.

Secondly, if you take the time to consider what is being said here, you will realise that prompt answers from Steam when they're after your money do not in any way indemnify them from other customer service nightmares. You can do a chargeback on them within a period of time so it is no gigantic surprise that they play nice in billing you. Furthermore, you're talking about communication with billing, as opposed to what is probably more specifically an account misbehaviour team issue and hence, another department and completely irrelevant to your own experiences with consist of a paltry 2 of the millions of customer interactions steam experience (but somehow using this massive sample allowing you to assume you're right and he's making it up).

All in all, I call bullshit on your weak reasoning.

Re:I like Steam (1)

Atriqus (826899) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987801)

I've logged into plenty more than 6 computers with my steam account. Either they like me much more than you, or the suspicious activity in question was something other than the installation count.

FUD, mod down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25988383)

Troll.

Re:I like Steam (1)

jatriska (1160723) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988963)

Same here, though they did claim to have a reason for deactivating my account.

They told me I had been cheating -- which is odd given I had a dialup connection (which makes Steam all the more fun) and had never played a multiplayer session as a result of said dialup connection.

They told me it was impossible for my account to have been compromised and if I wanted to play, I should go out and buy the games all over again.

Re:I like Steam (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25989505)

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 /.

Re:I like Steam (4, Insightful)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986505)

Steam is basically the sanest solution to keep things clean for legitimate users. You just buy a game and download it, however many times you like or need. Pirates are always going to crack DRM, there's little reason to battle them only to punish legitimate users. See any torrent site and look for cracked versions of Valve games that no longer require Steam -- they're not hard to find, and it just furthers the point that pirates will do whatever to get a free lunch.

Steam is non-intrusive and allows all legitimate users to get and use games easily.

Re:I like Steam (5, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986701)

Unless Steam decides you're not the owner, you lose the password, they think you're a cheater, etc. Then they take away all your games. I'll ignore DRM in bought games because it can be disabled, I will never buy a steam game.

Re:I like Steam (3, Insightful)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987409)

IANAL, but you should have legal redress if you haven't broken the TOS. My nephew got a VAC ban for using a "wall hack". In effect he had to start a brand new steam account because he only played VAC based multi-player games. In fact the only people I've heard about who have had their accounts disabled or VAC bans are almost always cheating/hacking in some way or engaged in some other nefarious activity.

So the trade-off with Steam is as follows: you have the convenience of having a delivery platform you can take anywhere, it's easy to purchase/patch new games, you don't have to faff about with CD's. The downside is you share ownership with Steam - which means you can't hack/crack/etc. without the possibility of losing your purchases. In my view the benefits to me as a gamer outweigh the costs, because I don't hack to run cracked/downloaded games.

Re:I like Steam (1)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988189)

Does steam require an internet connection to play, though?

That's one of my big problems with DRM in general. I've run across it with iTunes purchases (the reason I don't buy off itunes anymore unless it's something I can't find anywhere else or I just want one track) and I've had the problem with my 360 in the past, too.

At my last apartment, the cable modem was spotty at best during the evenings for months. I was unable to play my xboxlivearcade games on my 360 because the latency on the 'net wasn't allowing me to log into xboxlive. It was a total pain in the ass.

When I was traveling several years ago, I brought my powerbook and wasn't able to listen to any of my itunes purchases. There was no internet at the hotel in Phoenix, so the entire trip, I was without a small portion of my music library. This may have been a fluke, though, since I thought that the machine would have a key to play the tracks even if you're offline... or maybe they've fixed that, since, but it's annoying nonetheless.

My biggest issue with DRM'd music/video is that typically, you get a product with far inferior quality and more restrictions for use for about the same price. I'd rather buy the CD and mp3 it myself or buy the DVD and rip it so I can play it on my ipod/iphone/laptop/360/desktop. The digital versions that vendors provide are strictly convenient to purchase and nothing more.

Re:I like Steam (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988641)

It requires an internet connection to register, but not to play. I'm sure that can still be a deal breaker for some people. My experience is limited to Valve games, I haven't had any problem with any of the games I own.

Re:I like Steam (1)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25989259)

maybe I'll register for that... I'm curious how left4dead plays on a PC (as opposed to my 360).

Other than that, I can't think of any games I'd wanna play on the service.

I mostly only game when I don't have access to an internet connection since 90% of what I do on my computer requires it... it kinda sucks that I'm so dependent on the internets.

Re:I like Steam (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 5 years ago | (#25989467)

I was unable to play my xboxlivearcade games on my 360 because the latency on the 'net wasn't allowing me to log into xboxlive.
 
When you buy games on Xbox Live, the purchase gets attached to two things, your account and the system on which you bought the game. If you've only owned one console, then you should be able to play the game without having to connect to Live. If you have your account on a second (or third) system, then you can play the full game as long as you're logged into Live. If you've gotten a replacement system, then Microsoft does have a license transfer tool on xbox.com

Re:I like Steam (1)

Seq (653613) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988859)

As I've said for a while, Steam is an excellent implementation of a bad idea.

I don't like DRM, but somehow Steam manages to do it without any intrusion. As Impulse seems to be leaning toward that path, I hope they are very careful to not add intrusive restrictions (basically just anti-concurrency, like Steam)

I consider it unfortunate that Steam even supports third-party DRM, though. Now I need to read about a particular game to find out that, despite Steam's assurances and capabilities, the game will still be limited to 5 installs (X3:Terran Conflict, Farcry 2, Bioshock).

Valve has promised to release an update freeing Steam purchased games in an end-of-life scenario. Unfortunately it won't help these third-party games that use securom. You'll just be SOL.

Re:I like Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25986561)

what's the problem?

Well, one problem is that I can't play multiplayer games using my old copy of Half-Life anymore.

Recently I tried to play the original Counter-Strike again and to my great surprise, after applying the latest patches (required to play online), the game now suddenly requires Steam. This is a game that I bought in 1999 with my hard-earned cash, and now I have to install some brand-new DRM / advertisement program that I do not want, in order to play it.

This is when I decided that I would stop buying Valve PC games. I do not appreciate my own games being held hostage from me.

Anyway, from what I heard, Steam offers some very nice features, but that does not make up for it containing a DRM engine. DRM is wrong and we should not put up with it in any way, shape or form.

Re:I like Steam (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987131)

Steam is more than just DRM, it also provides cheating protection which is why the older games now require it for online play.

Re:I like Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25987235)

Cheating protection used to be built into the Counter-Strike patch itself. I don't see how Steam is suddenly required for implementing this.

My point stands.

Re:I like Steam (1)

Leonard Fedorov (1139357) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987357)

Because all pubishments for cheating infringement are handled completely via steam's account system - aka VAC bans.

Re:I like Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25987633)

I get that, but you're still missing my point. There is no reason Valve's anti-cheat measures had to be integrated with an external program like Steam. For the six years I played Half-Life and Counter-Strike, they weren't.

I just wanted to play a game that I bought ten years ago, without having to jump through Valve's fancy new hoops.

I don't want to install any extra software (especially not if that software contains DRM and advertisements), and I don't want to give out my personal information to sign up for some kind of online account. I have the original CD; that should be more than enough to play my game. Is that really too much to ask?

Re:I like Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25988877)

If Valve didn't hold your game hostage, their anti-cheating program would have no sting. That, to me, actually is a valid reason. When anti-cheating was integrated solely into Counter-Strike, all getting caught would do was force you to go to a different one of the many thousands of servers available. Hardly a deterrent.

Now, I don't entirely disagree with you, but I'll additionally point out that you're perfectly free to patch Counter-Strike and Half-Life to 1.5, which I believe was the last pre-Steam version, and play precisely as you always did.

Chances are, there'll be very few servers running, and I doubt Valve maintains a master server list for it, but that's not really Valve's obligation, is it? They never promised you an eternal supply of playmates.

Valve hasn't actually taken anything away from you. Your game still works, precisely as it always did, if you want it to. You're at liberty to decline to use Steam.

Re:I like Steam (1)

travbrad (622986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988989)

Meh, kind of. It does permanently ban people if they get caught cheating, but their detection system is nearly worthless. For Counter-Strike Source alone there are probably 100+ different hacks (aimbots, wallhacks, no-recoil, etc) that simply don't get detected.

Re:I like Steam (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988815)

You can still play it just fine; there just aren't any servers for it, or a master server anymore. (If there were regular servers left, you could still connect via the console.) Neither of those are uncommon occurrences for a game three years old, much less ten.

Re:I like Steam (3, Insightful)

GFree678 (1363845) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986571)

what's the problem?

Let's hope you don't want to resell a game you purchased from Steam.

Let's hope that VAC works perfectly and won't ban you from VAC servers by accident because you were running something perfectly legit which happened to trip its detection mechanism.

Let's hope that when Gabe says Valve will release an unlock tool so you can play your games when/if Valve ever collapses, he actually follows through.

Disclaimer: I've used Steam for years and continue to do so. I think it's great... as long as nothing goes wrong.

Re:I like Steam (1)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988079)

"Let's hope that VAC works perfectly and won't ban you from VAC servers by accident because you were running something perfectly legit which happened to trip its detection mechanism."

PROTIP: VAC is triggered by the detection of entire known binaries. You can't trip it accidentally without having the cheating mechanism on-disk, and if you do have it on-disk... well that's your fault.
I always wonder why there's some poor cheater who comes up with this "I was banned but I didn't cheat" excuse, because it doesn't hold up at all when others know how VAC works.

Re:I like Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25986575)

I too love DRM, it makes me so freeeeee.....

Re:I like Steam (4, Interesting)

D.A. Zollinger (549301) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986831)

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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25986945)

When HL2EP1 was launched, I did buy it, brought home an start installing. After keeeping my CPU 100% for 2 hours, I talked to a neibhour about it and he gave me a pirated version. I vas able to play this version after about 30 minutes (the time it took to burn the files and bring them to my PC).
I tryed later the Steam way - about 4 hours and a half. And I finished that game in about 7 hours.
Beat that 30 min Steam if you can !

Re:I like Steam (1)

ion.simon.c (1183967) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987587)

When HL2EP1 was launched, I did buy it, brought home an start installing. After keeeping my CPU 100% for 2 hours...

There's this newfangled invention called DMA. You might wanna look into it.

Re:I like Steam (2, Informative)

Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986947)

Yesterday I wanted to play Halflife during my lunch break on my laptop. Mind that this is my private laptop and therefore I've no internet connection at work. Ofcourse Steam decided that I can't play until I've reconnected to internet first.
Makes me wonder why I bought it instead of pirating it. I've had done the latter I would have been able to play.
Steam is a nice way to distribute games, but honestly the requirement to connect every so often is a pain in the ass for those of us who rarely find the time to play.

Re:I like Steam (4, Interesting)

Kattspya (994189) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 (1)

DigitalisAkujin (846133) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987481)

Steam has an offline mode. A little bit of reading would have told you that.

Re:I like Steam (1)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988093)

Off-line mode only works if you go into off-line mode *while still on-line*. A little bit of trail and error would have told you that.

Re:I like Steam (2, Insightful)

travbrad (622986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988879)

So to activate off-line mode you have to be on-line? *head explodes*

The only games I play on steam are online/multi-player anyway, so not a big deal for me. For people wanting to play single-player or against bots though, that's completely retarded. Better off pirating if you are playing single-player games I guess..

Re:I like Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25989395)

You mean like he just mentioned, twice? Bloody hell, maybe you should try reading. The whole point of his post was elaborating on it not working correctly!

Re:I like Steam (3, Informative)

MR.Mic (937158) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987523)

Uncheck "Don't save account credentials on this computer" in steam settings.
Then you only have to log in once, and the computer will allow you to go into offline mode any time after that.

It works for my laptop when I can't get wifi when traveling.

Re:I like Steam (1)

ion.simon.c (1183967) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987589)

Yeppers. That works for me, too.

Re:I like Steam (0, Troll)

MunchMunch (670504) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987129)

See, it's comments like this that make me suspect that Steam really gets a free pass with gamers, *probably* because it's from Valve.

Let's look:

"I really like how Steam currently works. Only one computer can be logged into the same account at a time..."

Translation: "I really like how I can only log one computer into it at once!"

"I can download / install all games on any computer, it works (mostly) in Wine. I also don't have to mess around with disks."

Translation: "It doesn't work all the time with Linux and it doesn't give me a physical copy to have as a backup. I love it!"

"Steam seems to me to be a rather effective method of DRM."

Translation: "I never ever have been to a torrent site, and thus have not seen how every Steam game released so far has been pirated and made available via torrent. I do, however, see how it limits me, the legitimate buyer, from using the games I buy in any way Valve does not like. Seems pretty effective to me!"

"I can only be logged into the account from ONE computer at a time, and I can play my games. what's the problem?"

Translation: "Again, I am so glad it limits me to one computer. Also, it lets me play "my" game as long as the server is around and trusts me that I own it. What could be better!"

[note: Do I have a better solution? No. That doesn't mean Steam is a good one.]

Re:I like Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25987247)

Dissent will not be tolerated! Always swallow all pills handed to you immediately and don't ask any questions!!!

Othwewise the terrorists win.

Re:I like Steam (1)

ion.simon.c (1183967) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987613)

See, it's comments like this that make me suspect that Steam really gets a free pass with gamers, *probably* because it's from Valve.

Agreed.

Translation: "Again, I am so glad it limits me to one computer. Also, it lets me play "my" game as long as the server is around

Valve has said that they'll free all purchased games if they ever go out of business. OTOH, that's just words, so... *shrug*

Re:I like Steam (2, Informative)

ch1lly (1154779) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988493)

Translation: "It doesn't work all the time with Linux and it doesn't give me a physical copy to have as a backup. I love it!"

You can have discs if you want them. Steam includes a tool to backup your games. Plus you can buy the games in retail which comes with the discs of course if you prefer.

Re:I like Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25987453)

valve doesn't need DRM cuz they can just disable your account and bam, goodbye games forever

according to their user agreement you never own the games in the first place

I don't dislike Steam, but I don't like it either (2, Funny)

Joe U (443617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987861)

I'm mixed on Steam. I like the automatic downloads and automatic updates, but I'm wary of situations where 2 or 3 people in my family want to play different Steam powered games at the same time. They're locked into one account.

I won't be buying GTA IV on Steam for that reason. I don't want to lock the family out of Peggle.

Re:I like Steam (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988037)

I like Steam, too. I have a sneaking suspicion that the authentication servers for Steam will be around for much longer than I could have ever held onto my installation media. The model works better for me than dealing with scratched disks and empty CD cases.

I can download / install all games on any computer, it works (mostly) in Wine. I also don't have to mess around with disks.

I found out I can move my Steam folder to any PC and "it just works" with valid credentials. I was delighted to see that I can run all of my HL-2 games under Wine, executing them straight off my Windows partition. The only thing I have to change are my display preferences, the resolution always gets reset when I swap OSes on it.

Re:I like Steam (1)

reddrakos (976611) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988281)

I enjoy steam very much as well, I would like to change one thing about it though...you should be able to 'transfer' games between accounts. My brother is all the time buying games and he then gives them to me after he is done with them. I wish we could have our own accounts so that he could transfer them to me when he is finished with one.

Re:I like Steam (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988861)

I hate the fact that you're still dependent on logging into Steam to play the game. Sure, you can set it for "offline" mode, but to do that you have to, guess what, Log In! So your internet connection goes down, or Steam rolls out a huge update and everybody and their grandmother are pushing steam servers into non-responsiveness (as happened with the TF2 update earlier this year), what then? You can't play HL2 Episode 3 or whatever other single player game you purchased through them until the connection's back.

Other than that, it's nice to play without worrying about CDs or malware installed on your computer to make publishers feel more secure.

Piracy, oh really? (4, Interesting)

kvezach (1199717) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Priceless (5, Insightful)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986301)

Gabe comes out and says this the day after GTA IV has released on Steam complete with Securom.

Dear Mr Miller: No, it is NOT acceptable, and I will no longer be buying any games that follow what you consider acceptable. So many of the issues people have with running new titles is down to the copy protection.

I really want the PC to die as a mainstream gaming platform to be honest. (And I say that as a hardcore PC gamer for the last 12 years.) Despite all the mounting evidence that shows it's ineffectual and pointless, copy protection is getting worse and worse. Kill the platform entirely, EA and the like can fuck off to the consoles and stay there in their happy little pirate free zone (yeah right), and the PC can go back to serving niche genres for a smaller customer base that are actually treated like customers and not thieves.

Re:Priceless (1)

Pushpabon (1351749) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986721)

The death of pc gaming won't be due to piracy but the ever increasing dumbing down of titles and the half-assed job of porting shitty console titles to PC because the publishers want to cater to the retard masses who buy their games instead of the smart adults who want to play games such as Deus Ex and System Shock 2.

Re:Priceless (1)

DigitalisAkujin (846133) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987493)

That's a pretty ignorant view point when companies are making millions from sales of PC games despite the warez scene.

DRM is a waste of time for any game played online when you need a CDKey to identify yourself with the server. And that's all of them these days. There's very little reply value in the single player modes of some of these games.

Re:Priceless (1)

ion.simon.c (1183967) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987625)

Surely you don't mean to tell me that legit CDKeys can't be generated? ;)

Re:Priceless (1)

Winckle (870180) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987897)

They can be generated, but they won't check against the database of legitimately generated keys.

Re:Priceless (1)

Lostlander (1219708) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987971)

Figuring out the algorithm for a keygen takes about as long as cracking an executable. Either way it's a bunch of math

Re:Priceless (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#25989077)

I would expect it to take MUCH longer if the key algorithm is correctly designed.

fff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25986307)

fff

Re:fff (1)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986545)

Fast Faction Farming? What does that have to do with DRM?

wow (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25986341)

wow...ugliest guy in gaming on the ugliest topic in gaming

Finally, a Solution! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25986433)

Putting Gabe Newell on DRM should surely crush it!

(meh, I got nothing)

There's nothing blunt about it. (3, Insightful)

subreality (157447) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986447)

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)

No, the goal is to increase revenues by decreasing piracy and preventing sale of used games. What is said above is their method of making it palatable to the consumer.

If the goal was *really* to "create greater value" and "make it easy to play games whenever and wherever" the solution would be simple: DON'T USE DRM.

I understand the need to fight piracy, but quit trying to spin it like it's being done for me, or that there's some silver lining.

Re:There's nothing blunt about it. (1, Insightful)

Loibisch (964797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986745)

The thing is that some forms of DRM allow for distribution schemes previously not possible. I can see your point when talking about hard copies you buy at a store. DRM in those copies is definitely not helping the consumer.

Now take Steam on the other hand. Sure, all of this would also be possible withOUT DRM, but it wouldn't be much of a business model if everyone could just download everything to any computer and just leave it there for someone else to play. This would be equivalent to being able to copy a game you bought at the store for all of your friends.

So in this case, DRM actually makes a new distribution channel possible, which in the case of Steam is indeed a greater value to the consumer.

Re:There's nothing blunt about it. (3, Insightful)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986929)

Sure, all of this would also be possible withOUT DRM, but it wouldn't be much of a business model if everyone could just download everything to any computer and just leave it there for someone else to play.

But that is what already happens anyway! Take a look at The Pirate Bay, Mininova, Black Cats, whatever... name any game, it's probably there. DRM is a serious nuisance to legit clients, but merely a quick and fun challenge to crackers. All this DRM-mania does nothing but make piracy look more attractive!

Gotta admire the GOG [gog.com] people... they sell some nice stuff at decent prices, and don't give you any of that DRM bullshit.

Re:There's nothing blunt about it. (1)

Loibisch (964797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988223)

Sure, all of this would also be possible withOUT DRM, but it wouldn't be much of a business model if everyone could just download everything to any computer and just leave it there for someone else to play.

But that is what already happens anyway! Take a look at The Pirate Bay, Mininova, Black Cats, whatever... name any game, it's probably there. DRM is a serious nuisance to legit clients, but merely a quick and fun challenge to crackers. All this DRM-mania does nothing but make piracy look more attractive!

I'm sorry, but any argument starting with "pirating it off the internet is easier than buying" is just stupid. Yeah, of course pirating it is easier, but it's also illegal and can get you caught, possibly costing you more than your house is worth. So wanna take the risk? Fine with me...I don't.

Gotta admire the GOG [gog.com] people... they sell some nice stuff at decent prices, and don't give you any of that DRM bullshit.

Yeah, because implementing a DRM scheme for games that old and which they don't have the source code to would certainly cost more money than ever being made off the titles.

Re:There's nothing blunt about it. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25987199)

Now take Steam on the other hand. Sure, all of this would also be possible withOUT DRM, but it wouldn't be much of a business model if everyone could just download everything to any computer and just leave it there for someone else to play.

How very wrong. Just look at totalgaming.net (or now: Impulsedriven). StarDock is offering something like Steam but completely without DRM. And it works! Sins of a Solar Empire, a game released without any form of copy protection both retail and over their online download service, sold great.
They offer a DRM-free game for you to enjoy and patches are only available through their Steam-like plattform. But unlike Steam it doesn't force you do download patches nor does it have to run in the background while playing.

Their business model works great. They add values to paying customers in providing really good (content-adding) patches for customers only.

Re:There's nothing blunt about it. (2, Insightful)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987499)

StarDock is offering something like Steam but completely without DRM.

When is StarDock going to release a game I might want. Like a freeform space like X3: Terran conflict or FPS like the Unreal series?

Right now they have no games that interest me, or many other gamers I know. Of course there is no piracy on mass.

But unlike Steam it doesn't force you do download patches

Uncheck the "keep my game up to date" box in the game's properties?

Re:There's nothing blunt about it. (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986791)

No, the goal is to increase revenues by decreasing piracy and preventing sale of used games.

      No, the goal (for the DRM peddler) is to PRETEND to offer increased revenues by PRETENDING to decrease piracy and prevent sale of used games. However the only revenue that is actually increased is the "security" company's.

      No one wants to buy shitty games. The good games are cracked usually within hours of release with few exceptions. However good games still make money. If Electronic Arts could build a multi-billion dollar company by releasing endless versions of the same steaming piles of shit, there's money to be made despite piracy.

      But it's so easy to blame lack of sales on copyright infringement. Piracy and sales are DIRECTLY, not inversely, proportional. If a game sucks NO ONE WILL PIRATE IT. So if your game didn't sell it's because IT SUCKS, not because everyone managed to download it before going to the store.

Re:There's nothing blunt about it. (1)

Saint_Waldo (541712) | more than 5 years ago | (#25989277)

Explain World of Goo. 90% piracy rate seems to give lie to your logic.

Re:There's nothing blunt about it. (1)

JorDan Clock (664877) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986809)

I don't think it's spin. DRM doesn't just refer to companies stealing your rights, sometimes DRM can refer to your right to manage digital media. In this case, Steam is two types of DRM. It protects Valve from piracy and allows you to manage your games from a central location.

"Don't use DRM" is too broad. What is a problem, though, is DRM that places the "rights" of the producer too far ahead of that of the buyer. Basically, when it starts managing our rights when we don't want it to.

Re:There's nothing blunt about it. (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987909)

In this case, Steam is two types of DRM. It protects Valve from piracy and allows you to manage your games from a central location.

You don't need Steam to keep a copy of your games on a server. Steam just forces you to only use THEIR server.

"Copy Protection" or "DRM", it's only there to restrict the purchaser's rights. It may be necessary to do that in some cases, but that doesn't change the fact that... no matter what you call it... it can only *restrict* what you can do with the software you legally installed. It only adds value for the consumer to the extent that it encourages creators to publish (which is where the "it may be necessary" part comes in).

Re:There's nothing blunt about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25988625)

I would like to paraphrase Mr. Newell's opinion even further for you.

"DRM sucks. Unless it's mine. Use Steam. Thank you."

Re:There's nothing blunt about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25988845)

If the goal was *really* to "create greater value" and "make it easy to play games whenever and wherever" the solution would be simple: DON'T USE DRM.

I believe Gabe is referring to the DRM of his own product, Steam, that makes it easier to play games wherever I want without dealing with disks and keeping up with ubiquitous CD-keys meant to prevent low tech level piracy.

Honestly I'd rather use Steam than go to a store and buy a game that I have to manually install with a DVD, even if that DVD contained no DRM. The ease of use and the assurance that the game I buy on Steam will (for the most part) just work is the draw that keeps me on the Steam network. I no longer have the time nor the inclination to maintain a large catalog of DVDs and CD keys, the extras like Steam Cloud and the Community are just icing on the cake.

Absurd system requirements (1)

Hard Core Rikki (1357985) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986481)

If only they could've optimized this game a bit... It's absurd for a game to propose graphic options 'not supported by today's latest graphic cards'. Maxxing on Medium Quality at 1600x1200 simply doesn't look right. Restricting enjoyable experience in such way to a minority of spend-happy gamers with highend rigs: the new restricitng in this digital age? Even Crysis runs much better than this. IF it runs runs a dog on everyone's rigs, not even pirates will manage to run it, let alone 'enjoy' having pirated it. StarDock at least had their concept right (good games that look good, without either requiring powerful systems or being overpriced. Oh, and little to no digital restrictions too). http://www.shacknews.com/featuredarticle.x?id=1026 [shacknews.com]

Re:Absurd system requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25986903)

Yeah, no wonder console gaming has been more successful; most new games are designed to run on 5000 USD systems when most potential customers are running systems that would be valued at 500-1000 USD. Things like digital theft in the form of limited installs doesn't help either. Compare with a game console, where you know your game will work on your sub-500 USD console, the experience won't be much different, and they can't steal your game from you after you've installed it three times or whatever.

Re:Absurd system requirements (1)

sabre3999 (1143017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988275)

Until they let me use a mouse and keyboard to move and look FPS's like Halo, or mouse functionality to enable easy inventory management games like Mass Effect/KOTOR or more proper RPGs, there's going to be quite a difference in experience. I can think of games that were completely ruined due to their "console feel"... see Deus Ex Invisible War for a good example. There was nothing wrong with its predecessor, but they catered it's sequel to consoles. The result was a good game and great story with a horribly translated UI, which dumbed down the interface. Bioshock is another example. Play System Shock 2, which it is seen as a spiritual successor to. You can see the influence it had on Bioshock, but just as evident are the concessions made so that Bioshock would be console-friendly. That is not to say certain games wouldn't do good being simplified, but simply that consoles are quite limited because of their interface devices.

As well, what's with this BS of games designed for $5K+ computers? My personal rig cost less than $1K and there's nothing I can't play decently when near maxed... except maybe Crysis, but it's really just a glorified tech demo to me anyways. Fallout 3, Red Alert 3, Prince of Persia, Sins of a Solar Empire. They all run exceptionally well with my 1st gen Core2, 975 chipset board, 2GB or RAM, and my Radeon 4850 and they all look astonishingly good. You don't have to spend a fortune on your rig to find good performance. Unless you want a laptop to do it (those shouldn't even be called laptops, but that's another argument.)

In short - I own 2 360's and love them, but consoles will never replace my beloved PC.

Funny he should mention that... (3, Informative)

Balinares (316703) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986609)

Just yesterday evening, I was browsing PC games at the local store, having reinstalled a Windows partition recently, and spotted the box version of Portal. Awesome, I told myself, been wanting to play that one ever since I heard of it, let's purchase this shit. (Mind you, everything about the plot and even the ending are utterly spoiled by now, but who cares, the gameplay seems terrific.)

But for safety, I checked out the small print at the back of the box.

Which said something along the lines of, the game you are shelling out money for will just plain not run outright, you'll have to allow it to go online and then maybe our servers will allow it to run if you accept an EULA that you'll know nothing about until then.

End result: no go, sorry. If I give money for a product, I want it to run when I feel like running it. One less sale for you, dude. (Not that you give a damn about one sale, I'm sure.)

Re:Funny he should mention that... (5, Informative)

JorDan Clock (664877) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986823)

I didn't have any problem installing The Orange Box on a PC when the wireless network was down. When I finally got it back online, Steam updated the game and that was it. I can continue playing in "offline mode" which is exactly the same as "online mode" except I don't get friends list updates and snazzy things like that.

Re:Funny he should mention that... (1)

Balinares (316703) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988539)

Thanks for the interesting input -- I'd mod you up, but I have already contributed to the thread, obviously.

If the game (which was standalone Portal, mind you, not the Orange Box) can indeed be installed and played offline, then my objection no longer holds. The box, however, does explicitly state otherwise; I'd like to be able to understand why.

gta and windows live for games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25986689)

I just read yesterday about not being able to save in gta4 without a ms live account? PARDON WHAT?

the value of gta4 on pc has fallen to near zero through this (more like below)

disclaimer: anyway i got the ps3 version, which i can save and play without any online account (though not in multiplayer then)

DRM vs. Torture. (3, Funny)

crhylove (205956) | more than 5 years ago | (#25986825)

DRM is a lot like torture:

It doesn't work.
It only hurts innocent people.
The truly guilty completely avoid it.
It makes the person doing it less popular.
It's unpleasant.
It's foolish.
It's evil.
Despite clear evidence that it IN NO WAY helps anyone, it is continuing to be done by a large institution against innocent people and other victims that have no relation to the initial causality.

If you are pro DRM, or pro torture, you are either horrifically ignorant, willfully stupid, or malevolently mis-informed.

Either way, do the math (or the research), and please wake the fuck up.

Torture and DRM are outmoded and outdated ideas that fail miserably at the assigned task, and should be completely eliminated, for the benefit of all, most importantly you promoting it.

Re:DRM vs. Torture. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25987055)

Er, that's probably the worst comparison EVER.

- Torture CAN work sometimes, just not always.
- It doesn't only hurt innocent people, it hurts people who are tortured, who are also often not innocent.
- The truly guilty don't always avoid it because the truly guilty are often the ones who get tortured.
- Yes it does make the person doing it less popular, so does being president and many other things.
- Yes I'd agree it's foolish, see the first point, it's not guaranteed to work.
- Yeah it's evil, but then, so are the people who get tortured sometimes.
- What evidence is this? How could you know it helps no one? If a government stops a terrorist attack through information gained via torture they can't admit it. There is no evidence to back this claim for exactly this reason.

If you think torture is guaranteed to always fail then it's yourself that is immensly ignorant. I don't support torture because it has an equal risk of leading to false information and if someone innocent is tortured then that's a terrible and unacceptable mistake to make it worthwhile but that doesn't mean that torture as a method doesn't have potential to work in some scenarios on some people and that the information gained wont sometimes be useful. To suggest it's 100% useless is just ignorant or outright politically biased FUD and nothing more.

I replied because whilst I too am anti-torture, the completely level of idiocy of your points and the abysmally poor comparison needed a response. In fact, about your only valid sentence is your final one, that torture and DRM are outdated ideas that aren't fit for purpose in the scenarios they're often used.

Re:DRM vs. Torture. (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988285)

Smacking the side of the computer also can work to get things running, but that doesn't mean it's actually a useful tool. Here, go educate yourself [washingtonpost.com] . (But what does he know, he's just the guy who got someone to give up Zarqawi's location...)

Re:DRM vs. Torture. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25989029)

Ohhh I love anecdotes. How very scientific-minded of you !

Thanks ! I believe everything I read on the internet too !!! Do you have more?? !?

I think this sums the situation up rather nicely (2, Insightful)

Vitani (1219376) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987271)

"Until publishers do more to welcome their legitimate customers as friends instead of treating them as potential pirates, piracy will continue to eat at profits and morale."

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25987439)

No, the goal is to increase revenues by decreasing piracy and preventing sale of used games. No, the goal (for the DRM peddler) is to PRETEND to offer increased revenues by PRETENDING to decrease piracy and prevent sale of used games. However the only revenue that is actually increased is the "security" company's. No one wants to buy ****ty games. The good games are cracked usually within hours of release with few exceptions. However good games still make money. I

Don't buy DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25987657)

I recently found an extremely good indie game, Mount&Blade, I promptly went off to my favourite warez site and got a copy. The game was amazing, I thought the developer completely deserved money for it, that is, until I read the NFO and found that the protection scheme in it was Themida (a rather nasty, slow VM packer) had I purchased the full game it probably wouldn't have ran on my EEE PC, which would have removed half the point of it. So I decided if they wanted to play like that they don't deserve my money, sad really.

The current bottom of the page quip has it right: (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988031)

"The truth is what is; what should be is a dirty lie. -- Lenny Bruce"

The truth is that DRM sucks.

What should be is that the developers and producers should be adding additional value for legitimate consumers.

DRM Is OK, You Can Trust ME (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25988229)

Although I cannot trust you to buy my game without restricting your rights to install it, you can trust me that you'll always be able to play it. Just give me a call and I'll fix you up.... But you must be a pirate because you still want to play last years version of the game, so we can't give you more installations, you dirty pirate!!

Trust engenders trust; distrust engenders distrust.

I like steam too, but... (1)

tohoward (78757) | more than 5 years ago | (#25988761)

I purchased Bioshock on steam, and later found out I got the unexpected bonus of additional DRM. I'm willing to live with the DRM limits that steam itself imposes, but I DAMN WELL better not get any more than that. It ticks me off that now I have to research what games I can buy on steam to see if they come with more crap. If they do, I don't see any point to purchasing on steam when I can just buy the CD/DVD...which is exactly what I did for Fallout 3. At least I get the added benefit of having real install media since I'm forced to have this crap DRM anyway.

And yes, yes, I know I could download a crack/nocd/pirate copy. In general I prefer to be able to easily update my games (esp. newer releases, which are usually at least somewhat buggy) and not have to deal with getting a new crack/nocd after a patch. Is it so hard to just sell me the damn game and let me play it?

Unrealistic expectations... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25989051)

Game companies often over-value their products, leading to an unrealistic expectation in terms of the quantity of sales that they should get. The quote from the article about the 90% piracy rate illustrates this idea quite clearly.

The game developer does not account for the very low likelihood of those who pirated the game actually purchasing the game if there were no pirate version available. The average game consumer will not purchase a game unless they are certain it is worth the price to begin with. The day and age when a game company could throw trash out and expect some of us to give them money for it on faith is over and gone. Trust in game developers is a thing of the past, with the exception of Blizzard and maybe a few other developers, who haven't yet exhausted their goodwill.

If you want people to purchase your game, provide a free demo to illustrate the quality of the game. If your game is good, people will buy it when it is released. If your demo doesn't convince them, they might pirate it, or they might forget about it entirely... but in either case, the market didn't fail you. You simply failed to deliver a valuable product.

DRM doesn't stop piracy, or even slow it down. In most cases DRM promotes piracy, as has been discussed a lot recently. Focus more on making a good game, and less on trying to prevent people from supposedly cheating you out of money.

Was doubtful about steam but then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25989299)

For those of you who don't believe that you cannot pirate Steam games need to search around on torrent sites.

Unless Steam has a feature to when they use the "Kill Switch" it also deletes your .gcf files you can still extract the files out of the .gcf files.

Not to mention the fact that you can backup your .gcf files (WHICH YOU SHOULD BE DOING ANYWAYS with normal computer backups)they can't really get ahold of those files and destroy them (unless you did something really naughty and a 3-letter agency is knocking at your door).

When steam first came out I was opposed to it due to the only game maker using it was of course valve. I thought that if valve goes under and i bought games that i didn't have a physical copy to, then i'm screwed with software that i would have to go find cracks to play again. Fast forward 5-6 years later I re-discovered Steam and after some deep thinking i remembered my old username and password viola all the old games that i registered on steam (I.E. HL1 where i still had the orginal disc to) were still there on the account. So i went looking at the new games they had and the new companies that signed on to steam and realized that steam is going to last longer than i orginally thought.

So now I have a nice collection of games that i play through steam. For me if steam "evaporates" then there's probably something more major going on in the world that caused it (I.E. time to run to my vault to sit out the nuclear fallout).

also on the comment about steam not adhereing to supply and demand: i must disagree with that statement. There are multiple times where they have a "fire sale" on products to where they sell games anywhere between 25%-80% off the price of the game.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?