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Can You Fight DRM With Patience?

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the napalm-works-better dept.

Games 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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Battlefield Bad Company 2 (4, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520334)

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.

You aren't fighting if you are giving up (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520374)

How does waiting for a publisher to loosen DRM equate to fighting DRM?

Gandhi and King taught non-violent resistance, but you can win against human beings. You can't win against a profit motive.

Re:You aren't fighting if you are giving up (2, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520414)

Isn't that the point of the article? If you want to have a game but not with DRM, wait until it's released or patched DRM-free. However the article implies that it's some obscenely long time, while in BC2 case it was just a couple of weeks. Personally I don't care - I buy the games I want from Steam and I can't really recall having any problems with them. Sure I don't like the idea of DRM and it would be cool to have the time to fight against every thing in the world, but sometimes it's nice to just enjoy the game.

Re:You aren't fighting if you are giving up (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520436)

I will not even buy games with DRM schemes I refuse to be part of off Steam. Simply to do my share of showing that this sort of DRM is not acceptable.

Besides, who really keeps checking game pages for the patch that removes certain aspects of DRM? Do you really go back every week to see if a year-old game finally got stripped?

Re:You aren't fighting if you are giving up (2, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520466)

No one, as most people don't really care if their game has DRM. If they want a certain game, they just buy it.

Ubisoft like always-online DRM does worry me, but I mostly play online games so I would have to be online anyway and their master serverlist servers would need to work too.

However, most people seem to suggest that fighting DRM with piracy is a good option. It isn't. If you're refusing to buy a game because of DRM, then you shouldn't pirate it either but spend your money on some of their competitor who is doing it correctly. Otherwise you get your gaming fix from the bad behaving company and don't support the good companies.

Re:You aren't fighting if you are giving up (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520952)

I agree with Opportunist. DRM keeps me from buying games, too. And I doubt very much that he and I are so unique that we're the only ones.

Remember, we killed DRM in music. It looked for a while like we were going to have to accept DRM when buying music, and today you can buy any music you want without it.

Re:You aren't fighting if you are giving up (4, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31521036)

However, most people seem to suggest that fighting DRM with piracy is a good option.

I don't think "most" people suggest that. In fact I can't recall seeing anyone suggest resorting to piracy as a strategy for changing the behaviour of games publishers. What I have seen is an awful lot of people declare their intention to download rather than put up with various DRM schemes. I think that's a difference worth noticing.

The important thing isn't that it's a good idea or a bad idea. The key point here is that the games comnpanies are teaching the wrong lesson here. DRM is teaching a generation of game players that buying games == "problems" while priating games == "it just works".

Re:You aren't fighting if you are giving up (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520418)

You can win against a profit motive. By not handing over money. Profit requires someone willing to buy.

Re:You aren't fighting if you are giving up (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31520634)

naaaa, there is enough stupid rich people to justify every business plan in the world.

if you don't believe me, lookup vertu.

Re:You aren't fighting if you are giving up (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520978)

naaaa, there is enough stupid rich people to justify every business plan in the world.

Well, then we have a choice. We can either dispose of the stupid rich, or take away their money.

Re:You aren't fighting if you are giving up (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520854)

This still requires the other side to have a clue.
They will happily blame you not giving them your money on everything except themselves. The first thing they will claim when you refuse is that you are a thief.

Re:You aren't fighting if you are giving up (4, Interesting)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520446)

You can't win against a profit motive.

Yes you can, by withholding said profit from them. I refuse to buy games at new prices unless I know in advance the game is completely worth it... for that there needs to be a basis of trust that goes back some games. Once i've been screwed by a mediocre game that's made even crappier by requiring activation/disc inserted/internet connection I see this as a reduced value for those games... DRM devaluates games. I won't refuse to play it, but I will wait until it hits the bargain bins (and that can be surprisingly fast sometimes).

Once game publishers see that they can combat piracy with 'added value' (extra's and artwork) instead of the 'reduced value' that DRM offers they will see profits rise again.

Re:You aren't fighting if you are giving up (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520512)

That's a personal win for you, and I feel the same way (actually I gave up buying most PC games around the time Oblivion was released because I had so much hassle with DRM and patches and hardware incompatibilities and have only bought DoW:II, Witcher and Fallout 3 on PC since, everything else I play on console) but it's not a win against DRM while so few people follow suit. Maybe if enough people withheld the cash and let the publishers know why it could work, but realistically as someone else said, gamers are too impatient for the latest releases to do that in any kind of significant numbers.

Re:You aren't fighting if you are giving up (2, Interesting)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520686)

Yeah, gamers are impatient... but the other (even easier) alternative is just downloading a cracked copy of the game. If only studios start seeing these 'losses' as a result of the reduced value of their games and work on that instead of making their games suck more.

A friend of mine buys a lot of games brandnew, but has been screwed by crappy DRM several times (disc unreadable errors halfway into the game or refusal to run after install etc.) and the fix in this case was simple: torrent a copy of the game without the DRM and it worked fine. But I bet this friend shows up in the studio's statistics as 1 succesful sale and 1 torrent download they missed out on, so he should have paid twice for a defective product. Doesn't the research show time and time again that people who torrent the most also spend the most cash... so I would bet there are a lot more people like my friend who fix the game's biggest artificial bug (DRM) by 'illegal' means. I'd say that instead of reducing illegal downloads DRM contributes to it, and it might even make it completely legal since torrents of games without DRM 'defects' are a consumers right (to fix a defective product you own).

Re:You aren't fighting if you are giving up (1)

halowolf (692775) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520682)

And it can work en masse. Its just a pity that the masses are not motivated very often to coordinate a united front. Though nowadays they would probably be labelled terrorists or something. I remember when McD's was crippled by patrons ordering all their burgers without the bun. The ensuing glut of buns left restaurants virtually crippled, with more deliveries of buns coming in. I had a hearty chuckle about that one. McD's soon capitulated to the protesters demands. Though it was so long ago I can't remember what it was about. Then of course there are those pesky revolutions and such.

Re:You aren't fighting if you are giving up (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520530)

How does waiting for a publisher to loosen DRM equate to fighting DRM?

Well, for one, it rewards the companies for removing DRM much more quickly. They much prefer to strike while the iron is hot and the hype is prevalent than months later when a new game has come out.

However, it is true that while people pirate the games when they come out, companies are not going to release without DRM. So, I suppose, the best way to fight DRM is to not pirate it, even when the DRM is broken/removed. Show that it's presence is largely redundant.

Re:You aren't fighting if you are giving up (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520928)

How does waiting for a publisher to loosen DRM equate to fighting DRM?

Unless "PAT1ENC3" is the name of a new scene group, I'd say it's not going to do much to fight DRM.

Re:Battlefield Bad Company 2 (2, Informative)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520508)

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).

Re:Battlefield Bad Company 2 (1)

Nick0000000 (1321821) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520814)

Steam is optional, no? Don't buy it from Steam if you don't like Steam "DRM".

Re:Battlefield Bad Company 2 (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520946)

on a few games Steam is actually not an option (the retail box has the steam download file so it still needs a steam account to unlock).

Re:Battlefield Bad Company 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31520692)

Pirating BFBC2 clearly won't hurt EA's income because it's a Multi-player FPS. On DRMs in complete "Off-line" games users and publishers have arguments, But you can't avoid the need of a legit key for a copy of a game(pirated or not) to play with in On-line games.

Re:Battlefield Bad Company 2 (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31521088)

Yes and EA also confirmed that the next C&C title will have an Ubisoft like always on DRM scheme...

No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520340)

Can You Fight DRM With Patience?

I realize that this is in the game section but allow me to recount a story from not two weeks ago. A story in which I almost threw my XBox 360 through the goddamn wall. I have one machine that runs Windows XP and connected to that via cat5e cable (shared internet connection) is my XBox 360. In order to share my media (about a TB of MP3s and Videos -- all very legal unless it is unlicensed video), I need to have this Zune software installed. Fine. I had installed it a while ago and though somewhat resource intensive in its UI and "bus service," it worked.

Then I upgraded my computer's CPU from a single core to a quad core. I decided to rip my newly acquired MST3K licensed DVD of The Final Sacrifice [wikipedia.org] to watch Zap Rowsdower in disgustingly high definition (better than my VHS rips anyway) across a network on multiple devices.

The Zune software stopped working. Blew an error box whenever I started the service.

I reinstalled the Zune software. Nope. I went to Microsoft's support. Searched everywhere. I uninstalled the .NET libraries related to the Zune software (the bloat is really hilarious) and all updates. Reinstalled everything. Still not working.

Finally I found that my error code was related to me not having valid ... you guessed it ... DRM user files. What I did to cause my DRM files to shit the bed, I'll never know. Is it hashing something with a unique processor string? Was it the extra two gigs of RAM I also added? I don't know. I do know I wasted the better part of a night and did not get to watch Zap ask if they have beer on the sun.

The fix was simple. You had just had to run some executable in Windows that re-initialized all your DRM files. So I tried to run it. Guess what. You can't run it if you don't have valid DRM files in your Local Settings directory. So I deleted them. No luck. Same behavior as if I had tried to start Zune. So I Googled. And I searched my OS hard drive for anything with 'drm' in the title. Curiously enough, my Netflix installation had some executable to the effect of drmreset.exe. At this point, I would try anything. I tried it and it worked. I couldn't believe it.

Now, I'm thinking it's good I didn't use the Zune software to rip anything to DRM encrypted format ... because I bet resetting your DRM files in your user directory make those files undecryptable.

And what caused all this? I still don't know. Was it because I had the Netflix silverlight crapware installed to watch Netflix? Was it because I had XNA installed as well? Was it simply a CPU upgrade? I have a masters in computer science. And this is the shit they expect your regular consumer to figure out.

In my unfortunate above example, DRM is unavoidable. I couldn't "wait" that out. I couldn't watch streaming media on my game station. Something that should "just work" was hilariously disabled by none other than DRM. It's everywhere. Especially in gaming. This is just one story of DRM inhibiting my ability to enjoy something I paid money for. And it pisses me off. To the point of slowly migrating away from gaming. If you haven't had to tangle with DRM and you're a gamer, just wait. You will.

Re:No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (2, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520358)

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.

Re:No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520438)

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.

Re:No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520490)

I don't think there is any incentive for Microsoft to start fighting against TVersity. It doesn't really matter for MS how you stream you content to your 360. Besides, both 360 (as well as PS3 and even many TV's) use Universal Plug and Play [wikipedia.org] for streaming on network, not some proprietary 360-only technology.

Re:No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520540)

I don't think there is any incentive for Microsoft to start fighting against TVersity. It doesn't really matter for MS how you stream you content to your 360.

You said you owned an XBox, did you notice how you can buy video and music via Zune's Store?

Allow me to spell this out for you very clearly: they wanted me to install Zune software because they want the marketshare of me purchasing all of my songs and videos through the Zune software. It functions just like iTunes Software in that it's supposed to be your one stop shop for dumping oodles of cash towards the RIAA and MPAA. iTMS is a cash cow for Apple. You're crazy if you think Microsoft doesn't want in on that action. If that's not incentive, I don't know what is.

And if you try and tell me that Microsoft would never do that, check out how they manipulated (and still kind of do) the browser marketshare. If you own any of their products, they'll take any chance they get to shove Bing and Zune down your gullet.

Besides, both 360 (as well as PS3 and even many TV's) use Universal Plug and Play for streaming on network, not some proprietary 360-only technology.

Hence the need for an update to both ends in order to move to something proprietary. It's probably unlikely but you can never be completely sure with Microsoft. They're not exactly the poster child of companies embracing open standards and protocols ...

Re:No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (1)

MadDogX (1365487) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520792)

And when they do "embrace" something, "extend" and "extinguish" are sure to follow...

Re:No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (1)

NeverNow (611234) | more than 4 years ago | (#31521002)

And why would you do something Microsoft suggests? I am a gamer myself and have a 360 but it was clear to me from day one that MS and their stuff were an obstacle, not a friend and a service.

Re:No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520858)

Why use anything at all?

My 360 can see my network share. It can navigate through the folders. I only exchanged short keys to get the XBOX talking to the PC. It plays Xvid and VOBs. I don't use the Media Centre [sic], although that was needed to exchange keys.

I'm baffled.

Re:No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520402)

To the point of slowly migrating away from gaming. If you haven't had to tangle with DRM and you're a gamer, just wait.

But see, you've said it yourself - "slowly migrating away".

We're all of the same, we're all far too *PASSIVE* about this stuff, I am the same. What we should be doing is taking the stuff back to where we purchased it from and demanding a refund or that it's fixed immediately because it's not fit for purpose.

I really do not give a shit what games companies do to stop pirates copying their games - as long as it doesn't impact me as an honest gamer who buys all that he plays.

Re:No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520464)

Any kind of DRM affects you negatively. There have been a lot of protection schemes over the years, from doc checks to "original DVD required" to serial numbers to the now popular online registration and perpetual connection scheme. All of them have some impact on you and may or may not limit your chance to play the game if you lost the manual, DVD or serial or cannot go online for some reason.

The question is just what degree is still acceptable to you.

What's worst about DRM is that it does affect you, the honest, paying customer, but it does not affect those that copy the content. They don't need the original CD (duh, they don't have one), they needn't go online, they need no serial number (or get one generated with a handy program), they need no online connection to register. THAT is the main problem with every single DRM scheme that ever existed.

Re:No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520532)

How is that Assassins Creed 2 with Ubisoft's new online DRM working out for you? There still isn't pirated copies of that which work correctly.

Re:No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (3, Informative)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#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...

Re:No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (1)

laejoh (648921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520984)

Lenslok was more fun that some of the games it came with!

I've had hours of fun with that little prism.

Re:No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (2, Interesting)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520680)

I bought an XBOX to avoid dealing with DRM on the PC (I know the XBOX is DRM'ed to death, but at least stuff generally just works out the box), but now that I have a shiny 250gb hard drive with my favourite games installed to the drive I *still* have to stick the original disk in when I want to play (which makes me sound lazy, but in reality I have two XBOXes in different parts of the house so I have to go disk hunting whenever I want to change games or just go play upstairs so my other half can have the big TV, etc), which is absolutely ridiculous in this age of cloud computing and digital distribution. Meanwhile people pirating games have none of the hassles of DRM, while other people can use no-CD cracks to circumvent the need to have the disk in the drive. Add on the hefty price tag of games and you have to wonder what incentives there are to honesty these days.

Re:No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520648)

I totally agree we should complain more when stuff doesn't work, but good luck proving which bit of software/hardware was at fault in GP's case to the checkout monkey at your local media store. The interactions between all these things are so baffling to the average user (and even the not so average user with specialist knowledge) that they've got very little chance of getting their money back, let alone dealing with stores which have a no returns policy for PC software, etc.

Re:No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520690)

Don't get me wrong, I entirely agree with you!

And let's face it, that's exactly the reason *WHY* games companies *CAN* do it, because their audience probably aren't going to be people who are, or even want to be, particularly tech savvy people.

And likewise, I am not saying there's an easy solution for us - because if you hold back buying games then games companies may well start putting on less DRM but they're also going to start releasing a lot less as well... as I said elsewhere, they want the majority of their sales in the first few weeks after release, that's what their business strategy is based on.

So if people don't rush to the shops with their wallets to do that, then they *WILL* release a lot fewer games.

Re:No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520610)

The crux of this is they don't expect the regular user to figure out all of the above, they expect them to get frustrated but just end up buying their content all over again. That was the only reason DRM was ever used with video/audio media, it certainly wasn't to fight piracy, even casual piracy is still idiotically simple. Suddenly the media companies were facing a switch from physical formats which degraded over time to a pure data format which would theoretically last forever. How else are they going to sell your grandkids the same disney movies they sold you as a kid if your copy is still valid?

Re:No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520728)

Why did you get a MP3 player that is encumbered with such shitty DRM? I'm sure there are much more open devices out there.

Re:No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (1, Insightful)

mbyte (65875) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520742)

Oblig. xkcd comic :
http://xkcd.com/488/ [xkcd.com]

Re:No. It Is Far Too Pervasive. (1)

rdnetto (955205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520868)

I feel for you, but I'd like to weigh in with my experiences using the 360 for media - I've found that it's generally pretty painless and works as expected (though it doesn't support MKV, which is disappointing). You occasionally have to manually add new files to the library, but that's it. The only difference is I used Vista/Win7, so support was built directly into Windows.
Also, I was under the impression that the recommended software for sharing media under XP was Windows Media Connect (DL [microsoft.com] , link courtesy of wikipedia). AFAIK it doesn't use any DRM.

No, they expect people to pay! (2, Interesting)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520948)

I have a masters in computer science. And this is the shit they expect your regular consumer to figure out.

No! An emphatic no!

They don't expect regular people to figure this shit out. They expect people to become annoyed, give up and buy more of their stuff, because paying more money "makes the annoy go away".

That of course just "a side effect" of the battle against those evil pirates whom the good regular customers should blame for the rising prices.

(... My ass!)

DRM On Games Will Stay... (4, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520388)

Games have become such huge business surrounded by such huge marketing hype that the games companies can now basically do what they like.

They don't care about the "intelligent gamers" who sit on the fence for a while after a game is released, read reviews & see what problems there are before they think about buying it - they're interested in the fanbois and the screaming kids who force their parents to queue up at midnight on release day, ultimately it's about how many copies are sold in the first couple of weeks.

Screaming kids don't care about DRM and fanbois will find a way of rationalising the inconvenience of DRM into something that is good.

I'm still disgusted with myself that even though Fallout 3 is one of the best and most absorbing games I have ever played, I still put up with having to insert my game DVD into the drive every time I play it, even though I log into Windows Live each time and have already purchased some of the DLC.

With that said, I waited about a year after release before I bought it and even then the game was suffering from some fairly bad crashes due to bugs in it.

Re:DRM On Games Will Stay... (2, Insightful)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520568)

Games have become such huge business surrounded by such huge marketing hype that the games companies can now basically do what they like.

You are so wrong.

When you're a company, it doesn't matter how much money you're making, so long as you can make more, you are never happy. There's no "financial freedom" in the world of business, only a mathematically optimal point at which you strive to reach, and once you've reached it, you follow that point as it changes over the ever-changing market.

So yeah, DRM will stay, but not because the companies "want" it. It will stay because the companies compulsively must have it.

Re:DRM On Games Will Stay... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520636)

So yeah, DRM will stay, but not because the companies "want" it. It will stay because the companies compulsively must have it.

Sorry, I don't see the distinction.

I'm sure you know as well as I do that the whole purpose of capitalism is to price goods at the highest price the market will bear but not make it too expensive so you don't actually get the sales you want to get.

If a new movie, game or music CD does not do well in the first few days of its release (and/or doesn't get a lot of pre-release orders/bookings), then the marketing people can kick themselves into gear and try to do something about it - maybe reduce the price a bit, put more advertisements up, give a freebie away with it, etc., so that there's a chance of clawing some money back quickly.

You also need to consider that there are *SO* many albums, games and movies being released, and a fixed amount of money people will spend on those things, that there is a very fixed window during which time you can claw in most of your revenue - or do you not believe that albums, games and movies do *NOT* have very fixed and very well thought out release dates...

And that's precisely why they have to claw back as much revenue as possible close to the release day - before we "great unwashed" go and decide to spend our disposable income on something else.

Re:DRM On Games Will Stay... (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520632)

"I'm still disgusted with myself that even though Fallout 3 is one of the best and most absorbing games I have ever played, I still put up with having to insert my game DVD into the drive every time I play it"

Install the game directly using "setup.exe" not the launcher, then make a shortcut for "fallout3.exe" again not the shortcut for the launcher that the install makes. No dvd needed in the drive.

Works for me.

Re:DRM On Games Will Stay... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520658)

Thanks for the info, I'll try that. I must admit someone else did mention to me that there was a way of doing it.

The best I managed to do was find a cracked .exe but it was in Polish and I really try to avoid cracks these days....

Re:DRM On Games Will Stay... (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520744)

The only unofficial patch I used is this one that disables the loading of "Games for windows live".

http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=1086 [fallout3nexus.com]

My only other advice is get or make yourself a dart gun asap, it's a must for taking down Deathclaws. Dart to the leg cripples them then a couple of combat shotgun blasts to the head. :)

Oh yes, bottle-cap mines are useful for softening up the heavy hitters.

Re:DRM On Games Will Stay... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520798)

Thanks for the advice on Death Claws but this is the second time I've taken a character to Level 30 and beyond, so I've well-versed in dealing with them!

I have to admit, I've built lots of the custom weapons but haven't really used them much in anger - this time I did the "Mothership" DLC quite early on in the game and made sure I got off the ship with a huge amount of alien weaponry & ammo; all I will say is the "Destabilizer" alien rifle you find on one of the mothership missions is a *GREAT* piece of kit!

The only problem is, I keep going back to it to try different game strategies but always end up being Mr. Super Nice Guy! I just can't bring myself to nuke Megaton at the start of the game rather than disarming the bomb...

Re:DRM On Games Will Stay... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520818)

Incidentally, my Death Claw strategy is about 4 blasts with "The Terrible Shotgun"!

Re:DRM On Games Will Stay... (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520886)

I'm only on my first run-through, sneaking and head-shots has been my main strategy up until now.

I was having a real good time then discovered the joys of super mutant overlords, albino rad scorpions and the real pain that is feral ghoul reavers. Currently getting a pasting in vault 87.

How about an escrow system? (1)

AccUser (191555) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520394)

How about an escrow system where I can pay my money for the game, but don't receive it until the DRM is removed? And if the price drops in the meantime, I get a refund. Or if I decide to cancel, I get a full refund. That way, the developer will see that there are gamers out there wanting to put money in their hands for a legitimate copy of the game, but unwilling to put up with the DRM.

In the meantime, I can download the cracked version... :)

Re:How about an escrow system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31520448)

There is already a better method than what your suggestion, called keeping your money in your own bank, earning interest or otherwise invested.

Then you email/snail mail the developers and say you would buy their game if it didn't have drm.
Or you can post a youtube video consisting of you rationally, calmly explaining why you wont' buy the game.
Start a facebook group called 'boycotting gameX until DRM is removed' and get 1000 other people to join.
(I don't recommend using twitter; twitter is just stupid, nothing useful can be said in 140 characters.).

Seriously, an escrow service? I'm pretty sure the point of escrow is to put conditions on contractual release of money or goods. Your idea would be like putting your grocery bill costs in escrow until the milk makes it to the expiration date (which would be amazingly stupid).

Re:How about an escrow system? (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520452)

if the price drops in the meantime, I get a refund

That's no different to just holding on to the cash yourself. It would send more of a message if you were willing to put your money in escrow to pay the full current retail price when the DRM is removed, even if the price subsequently drops. (As in, "I want the game, I want it at that price, but I do not want the DRM" as opposed to "I want the game, I do not want it at that price, I do not want the DRM")

In the meantime, I can download the cracked version... :)

If you do, then realise that you are a part of the problem, as you are adding your voice to the "we need DRM to prevent piracy - just look how many illegal copies we've detected" argument.

Re:How about an escrow system? (1)

AccUser (191555) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520500)

if the price drops in the meantime, I get a refund

That's no different to pre-ordering from Amazon.

<sarcasm>In the meantime, I can download the cracked version... :)</sarcasm>

There - I fixed it for you. :)

escrow ftw! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31520882)

IMHO, escrow should be used for doing away with DRM (and proprietary licensing as well, btw) completely, from day 0. Producers set their price, the escrow receives payments, then when proper amount is amassed those who payed can download the installer, or ISO images if they like, and are free to give, rent or sell copies of it to whoever they like. My bet is, if the unit price is high enough to drive away end-users, there would be folks who would invest into buying original (publishers') releases and, if this model prevails in industry, make living of it. Thus, software companies would be able to cut their expenses abruptly and toss them over onto community of reseller entrepreneurs, keep only their core competencies payrolled, use FLOSS code pool (remember: if you uphold the terms, you are free to charge for it as much as you want, besides, being anal about IP is superfluous if you get money up front), elevate their standings among end-users, all that while still making arbitrary high profits (as long as you don't overestimate your market capacity), and best part of irony is: former "Pirates" (fore mentioned "reseller entrepreneurs") would work on YOUR side, bringing you money instead of taking it away from you, while doing all of manufacturing (making copies), transport, distribution, even advertising and user support, on their own budget. Of course, any optional MMO subscriptions would be marketed separately, direct from publisher, or from affiliates - independent MMO games hosting service companies. Clearly, there are some interesting business opportunities in this picture.

Who's blaming who here? (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520404)

Hold on a second: Is that summary supposed to tell me "go buy the DRM infested crap or else publishers will stop making PC games"? How about NOT infesting it with "you are a criminal and if not, prove it" DRM that makes me NOT want to buy the game? I want the game at release. Hell, who doesn't? I also do not mind paying 50 bucks for it. Or 60, now that the Euro is getting weaker too. But I DO mind the infection of my machine with something of dubious quality that gives me no net benefit whatsoever. I'm not gonna bend over and pray they use a little lube this time.

And now I get told "if you don't bend over, they'll stop making games for you". Are you fuckin' kiddin' me? Make games that I want to buy and I'll buy them! Stardock is a good example. I don't care if they cost 20 bucks or 60 (ok, a bit, but it's certainly no showstopper for me), I'm not waiting for games to get to the bargain bin. I'm waiting for a game that doesn't ram stuff up my ass that I dunno where it's been before.

Prime example, R.U.S.E. It sure looked like a good candidate for my next RTS. I liked the beta. But, Ubi, sorry, no deal. Take out your "stay online to play single player" copy protection, I'll buy. Leave it in, I will not.

It is that easy.

So please don't try to guilt-trip me with the notion that if we don't swallow that crap they'll stop making games for PC gamers. If anyone is to blame for that, it's the idea that gamers are criminals. Unless they can prove themselves innocent.

Re:Who's blaming who here? (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520536)

I agree. I refuse to continue polluting my computer with all their DRM crap. Long ago, I didn't mind... But then some DRM was released that accidentally destroyed some hardware and the company refused to admit it. There's no way in hell I'm going to install software that can potentially destroy my hardware.

So my solution? PS3 and XBox 360. Yes, they technically still have DRM, but at least the DRM on them doesn't have a chance to destroy anything, and it never gets in the way of me playing the games.

I still occasionally buy a PC game, but it's more like 1 a year, instead of the 10-15 a year that I used to. And on top of that, I can -rent- console games... So I don't buy them now, either.

DRM is killing the gaming industry moreso than any pirates ever did.

Re:Who's blaming who here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31520578)

Your assuming that this is a closed ecosystem of gaming, ie that PC's are the only selling front and that these companies rely on PC Gamers to keep them afloat. Want to guess where I'm heading with this? If NOBODY purchased copies of ANY PC game within the first lets say, year, do you really think they would continue to make games for PC's or just say "Screw it" and focus on the console market?

Re:Who's blaming who here? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520718)

Just to add to that - if they stop making DRM-infected games (even at the cost of just not making games for the format), then I wouldn't cry over it. If there is a viable PC games market (and the fact that there are still lots of games released for the PC suggests there is, despite people predicting the death of PC gaming for the last decade - sure it might not be as lucrative as the console market but it's there, company's don't make games for fun after all) then publishers making games without DRM will just fill the void, if there's not a viable market then why artificially try to stimulate it with technology that inconveniences customers?

Re:Who's blaming who here? (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520986)

I'm waiting for a game that doesn't ram stuff up my ass that I dunno where it's been before.

People could insert a fire hydrant in my ass if they told me on which street corner it had been standing.

No wait... that doesn't sound right...

People could... uhm... no, I don't really like have stuff inserted in my ass.

Re:Who's blaming who here? (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31521120)

Same here, Ubisoft has lost me as a customer over their DRM, and given the sales stats, they did not sell more probably they sold less due to AC2 having a DRM which is too aggressive. By now it normally would be on top of the charts worldwide. Well in Germany enough lemmings made it into the top five but thats it and in the US it does not even show up in the top 10 and last time I checked steam, it also was not on the top but around 5 or so.

Quite miserable for a AAA title which got its fair amount of hype upfront and has been awaited for months! I think Ubisoft could probably have sold twice as many copies by using a classical drm scheme instead of using their customers anals for nuturing their greed.

oh well (1)

moot_xss (1645313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520412)

you can torrent the game, and then pay if you care

I fight with my wallet (1)

fearlezz (594718) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520416)

And if a lot more people completely boycots DRM-crippled software/games/music/movies, vendors will be forced to stop using DRM.

Re:I fight with my wallet (1)

bami (1376931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520502)

No, they blame the loss of sales on piracy and add more draconian DRM.

No option but to vote with wallet (3, Insightful)

JackDW (904211) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520422)

If a game comes with DRM that you don't like, you really mustn't buy it. If you do, it rewards Ubisoft or EA or whoever, and the DRM scheme will either be used again or made worse!

Pirating the game sends the same message. The publishers do have some idea of the numbers of peopls who are copying their games, and if there are many more than expected, then the DRM scheme will be made worse!

Therefore, it's very important to check the "Requirements" for a game before you buy, even if your PC will clearly be capable of running it. Respectable stores like Steam will warn you about the types of DRM used by the game in clear terms, and you can decide whether it's too much. This information isn't in large text in the centre of the screen as it should be ("Warning: SecuROM", "Danger - Game Published By Ubisoft") but it's there, and these days you must always check for it.

Can you fight DRM with patience? Well, yes or no, it's your only option. Voting with your wallet is your only way to discourage this sort of thing. Eventually the price will be lowered and (maybe) the DRM will be removed to pick up extra sales. Then you win.

Re:No option but to vote with wallet (2, Informative)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520528)

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"

Re:No option but to vote with wallet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31520576)

Steam does have offline mode for singleplayer games.

Re:No option but to vote with wallet (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520624)

My network goes down. I want to play offline. I click the "offline mode".
"Steam can't go offline at this time. See http://support.steam.com/ [steam.com] for more information..."

assholes.

Re:No option but to vote with wallet (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520622)

You can play a steam game without updating it in offline mode. The Valve games (HL series etc) anyway.

Re:No option but to vote with wallet (4, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520582)

Here's an anecdote for you. It's something I'm considering sending in an email to Ubi once I have a few more instances under my belt.

Browsing the gaming section of my local supermarket (they still sell PC games! I'm amazed at that) I encountered a guy roughly my age looking at Assassin's Creed II. He'd spotted the "Constant Internet Connection Required to Play." sticket on the front, and was looking at roughly the area I'd say was the "System Requirements" part of the back now. I asked him what he thought of the "Always On" DRM.

"I don't mind. I have broadband anyway."

Surely you're aghast at the prospect of all of the bandwidth usage! The sheer audacity of UbiSoft for insisting that you're connected to the internet to play a single player game!

"No, not really. I have 30GB per month, I never use it."

Does it ever slow down or disconnect quickly when someone else in the house is downloading some music, or have to reboot your modem / router sometimes?

"Yeah, but I usually play a game while it reboots."

Well, every time that happens the game will pause. If it's disconnected for too long, it will quit and you lose your progress. You don't get the option to save.

"Well, they do say to save early, save often!"

- And this is why DRM is here to stay. Nobody else cares.

Re:No option but to vote with wallet (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#31521060)

Well, every time that happens the game will pause. If it's disconnected for too long, it will quit and you lose your progress. You don't get the option to save.

"Well, they do say to save early, save often!"

I think you should have emphasized the fact that Ubisoft could have decided to build the game in such a way that he wouldn't _ever_ lose his save games just for disconnecting from the net, but they didn't because by inconveniencing him, they believe they can get more money out of people. Emphasize that Ubisoft has a choice, and they choose against your interests for their own greedy motives.

I think that might work well. People don't like being taken advantage of, or being under the power of someone else. It's just that they don't always know they are.

Re:No option but to vote with wallet (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 4 years ago | (#31521104)

Surely you're aghast at the prospect of all of the bandwidth usage! The sheer audacity of UbiSoft for insisting that you're connected to the internet to play a single player game!

"No, not really. I have 30GB per month, I never use it."

Does it ever slow down or disconnect quickly when someone else in the house is downloading some music, or have to reboot your modem / router sometimes?

I wouldn't think it would use too much bandwidth, and makes only one connection. While bittorrent makes zillions of connections and uses lot of bandwidth. (I had to reboot a lot my router because of bittorrent, until changing firmware.)

Re:No option but to vote with wallet (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520806)

Therefore, it's very important to check the "Requirements" for a game before you buy, even if your PC will clearly be capable of running it. Respectable stores like Steam will warn you about the types of DRM used by the game in clear terms, and you can decide whether it's too much. This information isn't in large text in the centre of the screen as it should be ("Warning: SecuROM", "Danger - Game Published By Ubisoft") but it's there, and these days you must always check for it

The problem with "respectable" stores like Steam is you get two doses of DRM - Steam's DRM and sometimes even more. Whether they so or not, it's still not an acceptable situation. The DRM in Steam might be relatively benign (at the moment), but it seems to work so I do not understand why publishers want to incur the expense of even more. But they do and so Steam users are rewarded with even more restrictions. Not only do Valve have you by the balls but the publisher too.

I'd add that even though Steam's DRM might be relatively benign now, but who's to say it has to stay that way? What if Valve decide they're going to start charging a buck per-download if you download a game more than 10 times, or if you want to download more than 60 days after purchase? Or if you install a game on more than 5 computers? Or premium online play? Or just any other crap they can concoct? The fact is that they are a benevolent dictator but all that could change in an instant. The tighter their grip becomes in the digital download space the more certain that changes will come and you can bet they won't all be for the good.

Parent speaks the wisdom! (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#31521026)

Pirating the game sends the same message. The publishers do have some idea of the numbers of peopls who are copying their games, and if there are many more than expected, then the DRM scheme will be made worse!

Yeah, pirates should worry about not encouraging nasty DRM, because the nastier the DRM, the fewer paying customers there are to freeload our DRM-free version off of.

Not Patience (3, Funny)

fan of lem (1092395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520494)

You can fight DRM not with patience, but with Reason [wikipedia.org] .

Commercial Linux Games (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520498)

Incidentally, DRM and commercial control is one of the main reasons, I believe, that there are so few commercial games released for Linux.

If you're a Linux user running a Linux OS then you're probably a fairly savvy computer user, and you're running an open OS where, if something untoward is happening deep down in the OS, there's a chance you will notice it.

If you're running Windows or playing on a game console, there can be all sorts of checks and processes going on that you will never know about because your view of that system is restricted.

And, incidentally, that isn't a dig at Windows users or console users - I run Linux and XP, I also own a Wii - but I do believe there is probably some serious nasty stuff going on inside your machines that you don't know about with a lot of this game DRM stuff.

Re:Commercial Linux Games (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520994)

Incidentally, DRM and commercial control is one of the main reasons, I believe, that there are so few commercial games released for Linux.

Or it could be that Linux only accounts for about 1% of OS market share, while Windows is over 90%. Interestingly, the iPhone accounts for about 0.5%.

hmm (1)

GMThomas (1115405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520514)

It seems a lot of the more intrusive, powerful DRM systems are created for the purpose of at least having the game uncrackable for the first day of release, when many people will want it. This means that many of the people who really want to play it will end up buying it because a crack is unavailable at the time, even if it's for only a day. If more and more people keep waiting for the crack, the first-day sales that these companies rely on will drop. And that will certainly be interesting once it reaches a critical point.

Re:hmm (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520588)

Okay, but think about that statement for one minute.

If the intention is to get as many people as possible to buy the game on its first day of release, then what's wrong with reducing the price of it considerably within the first couple of weeks to try and encourage that? It could even be used as a marketing tool because getting the game at a reduced price is done on the understanding that as an early adopter, you may suffer bugs and crashes until one or two post-release patches have been issued.

But we know that won't happen because games companies are *GREEDY* - pure and simple.

P2P killed the DRM star... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31520560)

I do not need patience I have peer 2 peer....

...sound and fury, signifying lots of money. (1)

ooe (1770152) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520570)

Patience Is parlance But a ripper Is quicker.

Excessive protection (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520572)

There use to be these horrible protections in the 90's. It all vanished, only CD-KEY check remained. And now we see another wave of zealot-protection from game dev's or game people.
Maybe is interesting that these protections are added by the publishers, against the will of the game studios. A good game can be ruined by a bad DRM, but that will kill the game studio, it will not affect the publishers much.

Most of these new DRM systems seems designed to stop people from sharing games with friends or brothers, not to stop piracy, piracy is just the scapegoat.

The danger is to scare people away from videogames. Much has been done to attract new people to gamming, the whole casual thingie, It will easier to lost that people again, with complicated DRM systems that break the release day (like the Ubisoft system, that where down the first day, cracked after 12 hours or something, so only pirates where allowed to play the game, pay customers where forced to wait )

Steam is another DRM system, the model that most (not all) users want, one where things "just work", and add features and enough convenience, to make for the lost of control. So is a good deal. Most game publishers release games that are a "bad deal", the idea of releasing something that is worth buying escape then, focus on "screw" customers releasing the minimun product to the maximun price. Most big publishers already have a fame of "evil" or "stupid". Lets remenber here that most people have other options than videogames, and may buy music, or travel, and ignore the videogame culture, if we make this culture too much anti-customers, like EA, Activision and Ubisoft are doing.

The point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31520580)

The funny part is, at the end of the day DRM has not yet actually *stopped* any piracy from happening. Some games are harder to crack than others, but even then the costs of doing so do not rank in the millions of dollars. Money spent on DRM should instead go to subsidising distributers to make the game cheaper.

Mixed feelings... (2, Insightful)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520590)

Not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, removing a bad DRM from a game X weeks after release is at least an improvement over not removing it at all. Maybe it gives the publisher a warm fuzzy feeling that they are fighting piracy at release. Although we all know the reality that the game is often cracked within hours of release and in some cases it's cracked before release.

But from a customer perspective, I still feel like I'm getting screwed by the publisher if I go out and buy a new game shortly after release. Consider the following questions:

1. If I wait X weeks until they remove the DRM, why should I _need_ to patch my game to remove the DRM.
2. Why is the DRM even there to begin with? Does it really do any good?
3. Referring to question 1, how many Joe Sixpack's patch their games at all, unless the game goes online and checks routinely?
4. Why am I buying intentionally defective goods?
5. How much extra cost goes into implementing, testing and supporting the DRM? This number has got to be huge for the publishers. Not to mention the licensing cost the publisher has to pay to the DRM licensor.

On principle, I am still strongly against invasive DRM. Assassin's Creed 2 and future Ubisoft titles are on my do-not-buy list thanks to their draconian, invasive DRM. I will not download cracked versions of these games either, I will just not play them. Until the publishers wise up and realize they are only shooting themselves in the foot, I will not buy their games. Here is my list of unacceptable practices:

- game requires activation over the internet
- single-player and non-online games that require an internet connection to run
- games that can only save to online game servers operated by the publisher
- games that cannot be played in 5 years because they depend on some online service/server that has been taken offline by the publisher
- games that limit the number of installations
- games that check their activation status periodically
- games that cannot be installed to more than one PC (not equal to running them at the same time)
- games that are locked-down to the hardware signature on which they were originally installed
- installs any hidden services, software or devices in my system with or without my explicit authorization (this includes Starforce and SecuROM)

My list of acceptable practices:

- basic disc checks, or
- Steam-like content delivery services, which can be used in offline mode, do not limit number of installs and do not require an internet connection except during installation, etc.

However, combining the above 2 practices is unacceptable. There are probably few if any new commercial games anymore that meet my requirements. Have I bought games which violate some of my unacceptable practices; Yes, unfortunately. I'm afraid there is no easy answer or solution to the problem.

"Can you..."? Why the loser attitude? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520602)

Perhaps the brainwashing of the MAFIAA made you forget, but we started out as the dominant ones. That’s why they came up with the whole DRM schemes in the first place.
And perhaps you noticed, that DRM can not work by its very definition. It’s a physically impossible concept.

The whole reason they are getting so crazy, is because they are doomed to die, and they know it. And I’m only talking about the publishers, that nobody needs anymore since the Internet replaced them. Not about the artists, who now see a glimmer of light of getting out of the nasty wrath of publisher contracts and terms.

We already won. We were always winning. That’s the whole thing.
They would have to create a global totalitarian system to stop us from winning. Like ACTA + 1984.
And even when we ignore that that’n not going to happen (ACTA is alreary revoked by most states)... it wouldn’t be the first revolution where heads get cut off for freedom, now would it?

The can not win this one. So stop the loser attitude. Because in the wars of psychology and social engineering (which this one is), you usually get exactly what you prophecy to happen.
Think about how you influence people, when you stand there on your soap box, and don’t say “Those crazy people have no chance. We laugh in their faces.”, but instead ask in that suggestive way “Oh god, how can we even possibly win that one? We’re doomed! DOOOMED!!!”.
Because the second one is what you’re doing. And it’s not cool!

So come on! Take off the reality distortion glasses of the MAFIAA, look at factual reality, and see that even according to their own predictions, their death struggle is over in about 5-7 years!

That's strange (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520604)

Early sales are often one of the big quantifiers in whether a studio will start working on a sequel

      The author says this as if a sequel is a good thing. If it's true that all sequels are better than the original version, wouldn't the wise choice be to skip version 1 and buy the sequel?

Never needed it meself (2, Insightful)

CiderJack (961987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520660)

I do not buy games. Period. I don't pirate them either.

Plenty of free games out there! Sometimes free demos are enough for games like halo, half-life 2, (sorry if I'm talking about old demos, I don't even bother with most new games anymore because even the demos are DRM'd up the wazoo). Freeplay MMOs like Runes of Magic and Allods keep me pretty well entertained after serious pointless grinding on an MMO like Anarchy Online. However! The point being is they are not only free of DRM they are free of cash outlay! No way am I about to risk my system with some DRM'd game that I may or may not like and risk my whole system on it. And pay cash for it beforehand.

The whole commercial game industry (well most of it anyway) is snake oil sales. They have quickly reached a point just slightly better than used car salesmen or the riaa. Feck it, stick to (real) indy games and/or play only the free games. If they lower the DRM bar later have we won? No, the game is still full of DRM bullshyte.

Anyway, apologies for the ramble. I hope you get what I'm after here (and no I'm not new here, but damn I bet any replies will make me feel like it)...

Soooo many free games to explore out there, I don't get why people bother with DRM shyte. Keep up with the Joneses? Not if it means compromising my system :P

Re:Never needed it meself (1)

qbast (1265706) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520870)

Or just buy a PS3. No insane 'always online' schemes, no rootkits destabilizing your system, no entering 50 characters long cd-keys. Just put BD in and play. And when you get bored resell it or exchange it for another game.

Re:Never needed it meself (1)

CiderJack (961987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520996)

Why buy anything? I still don't get it. My PC works fine, and I game alot (just ask my wife! (she games too))

In short I stil odn't get why people gripe about DRM. I don't get why corps implement DRM. I don't get why people pay perfecty good money for software that cripples their systems with DRM.

BTW, Neither of us pirate either. It's all out there for free, legitimately, if you know where to look. Who lives by DRM, dies by DRM.

anachronism (3, Insightful)

CiderJack (961987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520724)

Anyone remember Chess? Go? Cribbage? Bridge? Risk? Tabletop D&D? Monopoly for chrissakes? How about Mancala? Reversi? Pente? Dominoes? Darts? How about a friggin game of billiards/pool? Gin-Rummy anyone?

Oh right, the lack of DRM is what killed those games :P

yes and no. (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520760)

Yes, insomuchas they will start removing it if sales start to hurt because of DRM. Think music sales from amazon and e-music.

No, insomuchas the oblivious in the board room still see it as due diligence. They don't get out much. Their collective finger can't find the pulse of their customers.

Nope (1)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520780)

For every person who avoids purchasing a game with DRM, 10 more will buy the game because they are not aware of the DRM, do not consider the DRM to be significant enough to warrant avoiding the same, or simply don't give a shit anyway. Hence, a minority boycott does absolutely fuck-all to convince game publishers to change the status quo of crappy DRM strategies. It is the wider community's indifference which is giving publishers free reign to do what they like and continue it.

What you CAN do is stick to your principals. If you don't like the DRM, don't buy the game. Don't even pirate it. Stick to your principals if only so you can say you did so. It may not matter in the long run but at least your mind can be at rest that you aren't part of the problem.

Relic Entertainment (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520782)

It generally took a while, but it was always one of the good things with some of the patches from Relic Entertainment (creators of Dawn of War). Dawn of War and its expansions were all DRM protected (although I think each was broken before release) but after a while one of their patches removed the DRM. Some companies would keep it on indefinitely, but at least some get it half-right and remove it in the end.

The bad thing about that DRM was that it was the only thing stopping the game running fine in Wine. The demo (even the last expansion) worked fine, but the game then failed because of the DRM. Granted, Linux isn't a supported platform, but it is technically sufficient for the game, just not for the DRM (which is all a "treat your customers as criminals" thing anyway).

Re:Relic Entertainment (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#31521032)

Blizzard has removed DRM from a number of its titles including Starcraft and Diablo 2.
This happened (at least according to Blizzard) because of the release of the MacBook Air and other "doesn't always have an optical drive but can run the game" laptops (remember, Blizzard releases mac ports of all their games)

Will be interesting to see what kind of DRM Starcraft 2 has (given that you need to be online always in order to play)

Yes (3, Interesting)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520866)

That's what I do. Waiting before buying games has one big drawback: you're out of synch with the rest of the market. And several advantages:
- less/no DRM
- lower price
- patches
- mature community/forum
- more feedback on how good the game is
- opportunity to try it at friends

DRM and Impulse (1)

oakwine (1709682) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520936)

Stardock seems to have grown and prospered by selling games that have no DRM on the disk. A "friend" gives you a copy, you can see if you like it. If you do like it and want bug fixes, updates, and other benefits, then you go online, register, and pay for it. Works for them, maybe, because their games appeal to more intelligent gamers who are also usually honest. The big houses that sell games that are mostly fluff aimed at the 95% of gamers who only have fluff for brains have to defend themselves against the subhuman fuel screws that are their chosen market.

It's the same with music and movies (1)

MarcoF (1165863) | more than 4 years ago | (#31521116)

Can you fight DRM with patience? Of course you can, but patience requires (as others have already pointed out) a working brain. It's the same with music and movies. If people had had patience to think and wait a bit we would have solved for good the problem with RIAA, MPAA and similar ten years ago: staying a few months without buying nor dowloading music would have left them with no cash AND, above all, with no argument at all to use as basis for things like ACTA. I already explained this in a format that, hopefully, most teenagers could understand in "Mr Label's nightmare: what really, really scares him" [zona-m.net] , a very short novel I wrote six years ago.
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