So here is my proposal: stop software piracy. I’ve given this some thought, and from my past experiences I know that it is incredibly easy to pirate pretty much most any type of software that does not require an internet connection to work properly, and even in some of those cases it’s possible to fake an internet connection to register something.
Anyways, my point for this post is to describe a new type of distributing games (And other software.) I propose that industries move away from CD’s and other optical storage devices in favor of flash based sticks which contain the data instead. Furthermore, each ‘flash drive’ will have a unique EEPROM built into it in order to provide a truly unique code or identification number for each game released. This eliminates the need to have a serial code that the user must enter to activate the software, because essentially the serial number will be built into the EEPROM. The software developers can then write a custom code to check the EEPROM on the flash disk to make sure that the copy of the software is valid and matches the one that is assigned to your copy of the game, and thereby making it extremely difficult to pirate the software.
Flash drives have other advantages such as being small, and can be used in a standard USB slot, which I believe is faster than CD read speeds. Also, it could be possible to have writable sectors on the flash drives for save files and such. In my opinion the best part of this is that technically it would be possible to have the game fully installed on the flash disk, meaning that the user no longer needs to install the game onto their PC and use hard drive space. In addition it would be possible to take your game and bring it around to any of your friends houses or wherever else and simply ‘plug-and-play’. This is extremely close to how the old consol systems used to work with their ‘cartridge games’, but simply with an added layer of copy protection. What gave me the idea for the EEPROM is the original Xbox consoles. Each console contained a unique EEPROM that made it difficult to hack the system without bypassing the EEPROM all together with use of a Mod-chip or w/e, and if you screwed up the console was basically dead. And by having an EEPROM on a relatively cheap game it would not be cost effective for hackers to design a mod-chip for every game that came out (unlike a single one for all xboxs) and would end up making them want to buy the game instead.
I think it would be very cool to see games come out on flash drives, and with the price of them continually dropping (I saw a 16gb flash drive on Newegg a few days ago for 20$ after rebates) it would be economically feasible for the manufacturer, and faster for the user! It’s a rough idea right now and I’m sure it can be refined, but let me know what you guys think!? I’d love to hear ideas why it would work, or wouldn’t work, and what could be done to improve it!
Yup, it will just get hacked immeadiatly. Personally I would rather just see physical media completely done away with for gaming. You can't every completely stop piracy, but there are ways to slow it - some better than others. But anything that is completely client-side based is doomed to utterly fail.
The main reason for hardware based DRM working fairly effectively in consoles is that they are effectively closed systems. So to get around that users would have to take more drastic measures like Mod Chips. PCs are completely different in that a PCI card or even just another USB device could easily be installed to bypass such a system the same way a Mod chip does. It would probably be something as simple as a USB HUB type of device which allows you to plug in your USB game device and bypasses the protection. Then again I may just be over complicating the whole matter and a simple software solution will do all the work for you.
Every PC copy protection scheme to date have been cracked. No exceptions. Recently, the speed and efficiency at which crackers work has increased drastically in response to more widespread and intrusive drms being used. Spore, cracked in less than a day. Crysis Warhead, one day. Far Cry 2, one day. You get the picture. As drms begin to make legit software more and more unusable, more people are looking for cracks to solve their drm problems. It's a matter of increased demand.
I've never heard of "Beyond Divinity," but a quick search shows it's cracked and torrents are available for download, although few peers, probably because it's so obscure. The only ones that took some time to crack are obscure titles that few people are interested in.