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MMR: EA Breaks Your Disk? Too Bad, Your Problem

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June 26, 2006 12:03:36 PM

If you buy a game from any of the major publishers these days, and it comes in a DVD case which does more harm to the discs than it protects them, who do you think should foot the bill for replacing these discs when they crack? According to the publishers, you should.
June 26, 2006 12:27:04 PM

Poor article about a none existant problem. I have Red Alert 2 and Yuri's Revenge from 2000 and 2001 respectively with both in tip top condition in these DVD cases. Bitter rant by a pathetic man...
June 26, 2006 12:29:09 PM

My advice would be to just invest in a caselogic style CD organizer. Free up some desk space and keep your discs clean.
Related resources
June 26, 2006 1:40:24 PM

In responce to this.

(I would give that to you in dollars, but you yanks just don't have anything that rolls off the tongue quite as smoothly as "seven pounds fifty"...)

I would refer you to Southpark episode #303 where Chefs parents are basicaly telling a story of being stalked by the Loch Ness monster that wants "tree fiddy" or three dollars and fifty cents, instead of listening to the kids warnings about the Succubus that wants to marry Chef.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Succubus

So "Seven Fiddy" if not equal should be close enough. :) 
June 26, 2006 2:17:18 PM

lmfao this article made me laff, u just suck, go back playing with legos. god
June 26, 2006 2:36:09 PM

On Response to the Dvd Changer for PC they do make one that I know of from Sony.

Sony® VAIO® VGP-XL1B2 Media changerVGP-XL1B2

Altho at 800 dollars or less its pretty steep in cost to value ratio.

Edit just checked recent price and its 500 us from sony prob cheaper elsewhere so getting more reasonable in price.
June 26, 2006 2:37:42 PM

Quote:
WTF I DO TO DESERVE THAT.


You were the last one posting at the time Elki made his eloquent reply.

Is there any reason why you take such comments seriously at all? I know I don't. Use the "ignore" button. This is the reason why it exists.
June 26, 2006 4:38:05 PM

Quote:
i kenw it wasn't directed at me really. i just get annoyed at people who reply the last person regardless of wether or not they want to talk to that person. a response like mine will get the message across.


It doesn't get "the message" across at all. It makes it look like you didn't understand that he was referring to the article.


p.s. He was referring to the article, it was not directed at you.
June 26, 2006 4:44:32 PM

Funny and yet sad. Much like the ULA, the response is along the lines of yes, it did break and we are sorry. Please come again.

Now all those people making "backups" and using emulation software to play games start to make a case.

And yes I have messed up discs in the past but by scratching and not actual breakage.
June 26, 2006 4:47:20 PM

I broke my BF2 CD1 of 3 and rather than whine about it to EA I just downloaded a Clone DVD version off the net. Why not right? I own the game.

Then I threw out the other cd's and just use a DVD +crack to play.
June 26, 2006 4:58:00 PM

The easy but somewhat annoying solution for console games when the case is grabbing on way to tightly is to use sleeves.

Or of course mod and burn backups.

For computers I just do what was already suggested, throw the image on the hard drive and run it with Deamon.

Doesn't change the point that its gimptastic to engineer a case that is supposed to protect your media but instead ensures its eventual destruction.

A lot of parents think their kids either stepped on, dropped or otherwise abused their CD/DVDs when cracks show up on them (and sometimes they are right). They have no idea that its the case that is doing it.

But yeah if you're going to use something a lot, put it in a sleeve.

One of my friends actually buys different DVD cases to put them into that don't wreck them...that works great too but it can cost money over time, sleeves are dirt cheap. More importantly they are something that a non technically inclined person can readily and easily use.
June 26, 2006 5:32:46 PM

Technically when you buy software, a movie or even music you are paying for a license rather than the actual media.

This is why I can call up my software reseller and get installation media for software that costs $50,000 for a mere $20. Of course as I already stated, without a license you are committing a felony).

With this in mind, I see absolutely nothing wrong with making backups or changing the actual media that the original content came on. If, in the past you invested a substantial amount of money into LP's or Cassettes or even VHS tapes, it's entirely reasonable to have access to the newer format (MP3, CD, DVD) WITHOUT having to pay re-purchase the content you already own. If you wanted to take it upon yourself to convert a record into a CD, it's entirely legal. (although the sound quality would suffer).

(of course if you were to retain your original and distribute the copy, again you'd be committing a felony).


Here's where it gets interesting.
-It's entirely legal to create and retain a backup copy of media, so long as you are licensed.
-The game/music/movie industry is doing their best to prevent COPIES.

It would seem to me that they should do more to prevent the use without license!

Which brings me to my final point:
In this age of information, where most of us can easily go online and download a complete movie, game or album in a matter of an hour or so...why don't we see more from the game studios, music industry and movie studios for online content?

If "media_X" becomes outdated in a few years...why DO we have to pay for the new format outright? Why can't we use our existing license to pay ONLY for the new media or DOWNLOAD the content from "Site_X" and burn it ourselves?

These are things I'd like to know.
June 26, 2006 6:34:08 PM

I couldn't agree more, when you buy a software, you are paying dearly for its license, and just a few cents for the actual media it comes in. Why can't I just backup this thing in any means I see fit, and get rid of the annoyance of searching a damageable media shoved deep in some drawer? Alcohol 120%, as mentioned, does a great job, creating a lovely image of this thing inside my HDD. Sure, I won't be juggling hard drives around like DVDs, so it improves reliability A LOT.

But back to the main point. Should they cover it in their warranty, proven that THEIR DVD-style CASE damaged the media, REGARDLESS of "how a user press a plastic button"? Sure. If the media proves faulty, as soon as you open the box (when you buy it), the warranty works great. It is harder to prove that case after a few weeks, and that's the catch when they will rip your guts (er, cash) off. At least they should give you a fresh copy of the thing, only for production cost. If they don't, you are totally entitled to resort to P2P-sourced bootleg copies, since you already own the thing, just as it was already said here.

Steam got rid of the damageable media before anyone else, you gotta give them that. It just takes you a few days (weeks) downloading everything, should you ever need reinstalling the whole shebang, and that's the only caveat. Of course, you still need backups, for a quick re-setup.

Anyway, an A4 paper, folded twice, stapled in an envelope-shape, works better than any case. Plus, any moisture will likely be absorbed by the paper. Those soft cases designed for car transportation are better than anything mentioned, since they are rugged, designed with soft material to prevent scratching on the inside, and have a hard external shell built for survival in glove compartments and sun-beaten dashes. I've had such a case in my car for 5 years, and none of my cheap-*ss CD-Rs ever malfunctioned on a no-brand CD player. If they work on a car, why won't they work indoors? My Playstation CDs confirm that, and so my DOS games of old. Even those jewel cases work GREAT, they will BE DESTROYED so your CDs won't. I have done everything to a jewel case, besides stepping on it, and its contents were alive and kicking.

Not using those DVD cases is the actual smart move, from the start, as I suspected.
June 26, 2006 7:33:47 PM

I always just make images with Alcohol 120% for all my games. Then I never touch the discs again. It is very quick to reinstall my games from images too, and much easier than using discs anyway.

Sometimes it can be a hassle to get some to work (like FEAR), but for me it is worth it to never have to use my precious discs.
June 26, 2006 8:16:10 PM

Quote:

The DVD proved that it can no longer be a mean to validate authenticity – no matter what they do there will always be that good guy who will be able to crack it up!
So why the DVD in a high speed internet era?


I think the big problem is that companies look at a way to stop counterfeits / pirates by attempting to secure the media. Microsoft took a different approach with the Win XP activation which is a whole can of worms I won't get into.

The key here really is coming up with a way to track and enforce licenses. Whoever can come up with a true solution will be wealthy.
June 26, 2006 9:41:11 PM

While I agree that optical media cases are faulty, prone to breakdown, and are generally a waste of materials, I rarely if ever store a CD/DVD in the case it came in. I've had too many discs scratched before even opening the case to entrust them to those deathtraps. So, caveat emptor.

I move all new optical media purchases directly to a padded disc album. This helps preserve the surface of the disc, as well as centralizing and organizing the media (saving untold shelf space). And of the 1000 or so pressed discs I've bought over the years, none has suffered damage while stored in a disc album/wallet.
June 27, 2006 1:13:54 AM

This makes me so #$^#$%^ MAD!

If these publisher morons would allow user to play PC games without forcing us to play diskjockey there would not be a problem. But no. You must have the disk in the drive even though the entire game is already installed on the harddrive, if the disk wears out it's your fault and no you are not allowed to copy the damn thing.

Never mind the fact that half of these stinkin games won't even work without downloading almost an entire CD's worth of patches (Blowing my ISP's data-cap)

Cursing probably get's filtered out so I say:

EA, I really really really don't like you and I have stopped buying your crap quite a while ago.
June 27, 2006 4:29:57 AM

Best solution is... mini-images. You can find CD or DVD "mini"-images on the internet, often only 5-10megs at most, that just contain the disc's name and table of contents, and once mounted with an image mounting software like Daemon Tools, games/apps look for the CD/DVD to be in the drive, see it and are satisfied.

I own both BF2 and BF2: Special Forces, but I don't believe in using CD/DVDs for anything other than the initial install. My DVD drive sits idle, and I like it that way. :p 
June 27, 2006 4:58:06 AM

Viva la Daemon Tools!
Viva la No-CD exe's!

...and DAMN any publisher to hell that dare use STARFORCE!!! :evil: 
June 27, 2006 5:03:12 AM

Generally I have to agree with what as already been said here.

I hate having to keep a ton of discs on my desk as well, they just take up space, are prone to scratches so easily and are simply SLOW.

While I have not had any break on me, I have had jewel cases that were near impossible to remove the media from, no matter how hard I pressed on that damn button. Eventually, short of having the disc snap in half, I was able to remove the thing by pulling on the outside slightly. I installed the game and have never had to use that particular disc since!

I too use alcohol 120% and Paragon CD/DVD ROM emulator. Short of having a PC DVD changer, they have practically saved my investments over the years, work faster than any DVD drive and are so versatile to use.

While I can understand the software companies not wanting you to make multiple copies of the disc and implementing media encryption, it is a separate issue altogether of having them include a FULL HDD INSTALL option with their titles. Why can I not have the complete product on my hard drive? And what kind of harm would the software companies face by letting their product run without the physical disc in the drive? Since you need internet access and a license code to start using it anyway, it is simply backward and stupid to force the consumer to keep the disc in the drive when it is not needed at all.

Considering also the price of the latest releases being as much as $60, you want that expensive peice of polycarbonate to last!

So, until software companies include full hdd install options with their titles, I WILL crack their media encryption and I WILL keep an iso copy of the disc, and not feel guilty about it whatsoever.
June 27, 2006 6:30:16 AM

I'm sorry to say, but if your discs break in those cases it's your own fault.
Ammary is one of the best DVD/CD case companys out there. They've been caseing games(mainly console games) for years. I've never had a problem with them and I know no one who has. They are also the cases of choice and are the easiest cases to get discs in/out of.
It just seems like the artical writer doesn't know how to take a disc out of a case and then blames it on EA.
June 27, 2006 9:47:55 AM

Quote:
So, until software companies include full hdd install options with their titles, I WILL crack their media encryption and I WILL keep an iso copy of the disc, and not feel guilty about it whatsoever.


They don't really care about it either, as long as you keep your stuf to yourself. They're just not advertising that approach, is all.

There's a number of games out there, that do not require a game disk in the drive, and as far as I know they're not doing any better or any worse in terms of generating revenue (they may even do better). It would be nice if the publishers could acknowledge this fact and stop with this kind of ineffective copy protection schemes.

Hopefully we will see more online distribution schemes a la Steam, that are not bothered by such problems.
June 27, 2006 2:27:41 PM

Quote:
-Price the game correctly. I know that in the US things are better than here. here all games are just way over priced. when in the US they sell a game for 20$ here (Israel) they sell it for 40+$ for no reason! that is why piracy in Israel reaches very high levels.


I couldn't agree more. It's interesting that you mention this.

Software is not a tangible commodity, but it is usually priced and treated as such.

I'm currently researching helpdesk software for use at my organization. There is one particular service desk that is really awesome. Unfortunately the company is charging somewhere around $3250 per license. This comes out to $65,000 for 20 licenses...pretty pricey.

I started thinking about this and it kind of pisses me off. This company has some code that was developed. I understand that it costs the company money to develop, maintain and market the code / software.
What I find funny is the company would rather sit on this code than sell it for less than the $3250 per license. Any money they rake in on sales of the software begins to pay for the development, maintenance and marketing costs...once they hit that point, every sale from then on is a profit.

Compare this to any other tangible product. When a product is built, money is wrapped up in the tangible item itself. In order to produce the item, the company has to put up more money. The items must sell at a profit for the company to be profitable.
June 28, 2006 1:25:19 AM

I have two solutions to this problem, and I use both.
1) url=http://www.auspcmarket.com.au/index.php?redir=http://ww...[product_code]=MU-DC301&input[category_id]=185
2) This

The top one is much more organised than keeping them in cases, and I've got a nice little Databae with a VB front end to catlogue games, their keys, etc.

The bottom one is just really convenient, and requires you to have the original game, then emulates the copy protection for you, after you've used your original disc, and it's not blacklisted by most copy protection schemes, unlike Daemon Tools. Also avoids risky cracks.
June 28, 2006 1:28:12 AM

Quote:
Ohhh... myyy...

but I am not surprised - lets take adobe for an example.
Photoshop is wide used software, not only in the professional arena but also in the general community. Adobe charges 649$ for the basic package. Now you tell me, how will the average person, who loves what they can do with Photoshop for his own-non commercial usage pay such a sum of money?
Wouldn’t it be much easier if they could buy it as “OME” for 50$?
Adobe is begging for piracy, they are asking for it with all their soul…

Logic – LOGIC:
What would be more profitable:
1- sell 1000 copies for 649$ and have 10,000 pirate copies on the market and competition with open source software.
2- sell 50,000 copies for 50$ and have only few pirate ones on the market and killing almost all competition?


If you don't like the price use GIMP instead, like I do. It's free, and perfectly legal. Leave stealing out of it when there are viable alternatives like that out there. People steal photoshop, Adobe raises their prices to regain losses. people move to a free equivalent, Adobe drop their prices in order to compete.
June 28, 2006 1:41:50 AM

I agree that EA should ether offer free or really cheap disks (Ubuntu value 6 CD's at 27p for customs). So why cant we pay 15p plus postage for a broken disk.




Just have to say tho: Aaron McKenna must have stubby fingers :lol: 

The CD case in question is my favorite design.

Tho if you have a Demo disk loose in the case too it gets it's edges trimmed by that bracing down the inside of the spine when you close the case.
June 28, 2006 10:50:35 PM

Heh. Let's break this down simply:

Broken discs = more revenue.

You have to buy a replacement or pay a "nominal charge" to get them to send you a new one (after you mail the broken one of course).

Backups for personal use are, of course, prohibited by their anti-copying methods; so you have no choice and no way to protect your investment.

Nice racket.
June 29, 2006 2:54:02 PM

I don't play games with the disc in the drives anymore since purchasing Game Jackal. The discs all sit in their cases on the shelf once I have installed the game and the copy protection scheme is emulated.
June 29, 2006 5:09:59 PM

Yeah I've seen that happen before but it didn't got replaced because it the disk container was opened. I'm like what?! Then how would you know if the disk is crack when it's not opened? Anyways that is some bull crap. No wonder some prefers to just hack the game and copy it, no disk is going to break that way.

Well, they should (whoever design the disk container) revise it and make something better.
June 29, 2006 6:12:38 PM

Quote:
I always just make images with Alcohol 120% for all my games. Then I never touch the discs again. It is very quick to reinstall my games from images too, and much easier than using discs anyway.

Sometimes it can be a hassle to get some to work (like FEAR), but for me it is worth it to never have to use my precious discs.


Exactly! Alcohol 120 is one of the greatest programs ever. I have several hard drives, and one 160 gig hard drive is dedicated entirely to CD/DVD images (although I'm nearly full and replacing it with a 300 gig one). Just mount and go. Could it get simpler? That's why I like Steam. I just run Steam and click the game. The game runs. I can update it on any computer I want. For example, one of my hard drives just got fried so I got a new one, reinstalled Steam, and started playing again. EA's downloader system is terrible. They should efinately mirror Steam, or use it entirely.
June 29, 2006 11:30:10 PM

Does anyone else have any thoughts on Game Jackal, like I suggested? Sure it costs $20, but it gives you the same end result (no need to get out the disc), and doesn't force you to take up 700MB of dis c space with a CD .iso every game, or 4.7GB if you happen to have a DVD version. $20 program, or $200 HDD to store your .isos?
June 30, 2006 1:11:36 AM

i conciter myself to an alcohol junkie. however, i cant get it properly emulate anything encrypted with securom. im deployed right now, and ALL the gamers i hang with use images instead of bringing the disks here. but i couldnt, and still cant emulate anything with securom, any thoughts?
July 3, 2006 10:42:18 AM

Quote:
i conciter myself to an alcohol junkie. however, i cant get it properly emulate anything encrypted with securom. im deployed right now, and ALL the gamers i hang with use images instead of bringing the disks here. but i couldnt, and still cant emulate anything with securom, any thoughts?

This topic (linked to an article on THG) is meant to discuss the operation of software publishers. Given the topic, it is valid (in my opinion) to discuss some of the things that people use to avoid restrictions that hamper them to exercise legal use of their software (like discs getting broken because of potential faulty packaging, at least that is the premise of the article).

This topic must and will not deteriorate into sharing information with regard to circumventing copy protection measures. To anyone considering this approach, you have been warned (this includes the author of the quoted text).
!