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Limited activation DRM: Its becoming commonplace!?!

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October 3, 2007 12:39:14 AM

Tarr : Chronicles has limited installs!

http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?s=4d...
http://img187.imageshack.us/my.php?image=wtfvx0.jpg


Wow, amazing! A dev said this:
Quote:
we need to have some kind of control about people installing the game on multiple computers



On a sidenote, Tarr don't like Vista and multi cores i've read :pt1cable:  .. I can't get the demo started up!

1st edit: Apparently theres a "fix" for the full version, but they aren't planning on fixing the demo for multi core users with vista, truly amazing.

2nd edit: Apparently there's a "fixed demo" with "enhanced vista and multi core support".. gonna find that..

I doubt this game is gonna be big as Bioshock, it's apparently already out, maybe its big in europe?
October 3, 2007 2:23:21 AM

I hate all the DRM and disc check stuff. I can sometimes put up with the DRM checks but the need the disc to play noway. Kids and disks do NOT go together for long, well not unless you can throw both in the bin when one dosn't work.
October 3, 2007 2:29:27 AM

PLease, please, please gamers.

Take one for the team.

Do not support software that has install limits.

They're not combating piracy. They're attempting to close down the used PC game /ebay market and prevent game sharing (a perfectly legal activity) among other nefarious things.
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October 3, 2007 11:41:36 AM

interesting, never thought of that.
October 3, 2007 4:25:45 PM

Yeah, interesting. I've never heard it phrased like that. I know game developers hate the used game market because it eats into their profits. (They obviously don't see one penny of a used game that is sold.)

Ananan - the more I think about it, the more I think you really nailed it. "Piracy" is actually being used as a scapegoat.

But I think limited installs can affect the original owner of the game as well. Maybe I'm just unlucky, but I routinely have to change hard drives with a cloned copy I make for backups. (Something gets screwed up, and it's a heck of a lot easier to get out my screw driver and fix it in five minutes instead of spending hours trying to figure out what file in my OS got modified.) I believe an article on this site actually revealed that a hard drive change qualifies as a significant hardware modification to Bioshock, so I would end up using one of my allotted five installs.

Sometimes I might even install a game to make sure it works, then uninstall it to free up some space while I finish another game. It's really not outside the realm of possibility that I could use up all my installs.
September 18, 2008 8:49:48 AM

I agree, I think the general public as well as PC gamers feel that when you buy a game (or a DVD/music CD) they should have the right to use a single copy of it IN WHATEVER FORMAT THEY LIKE FOR AS LONG AS THEY LIKE: whether that means using Daemon Tools so they don't have to always get the disc out, watching their purchased movie on something like an ipod, or lending the disc to their mate so he can use it for a week instead.

I'm the only guy in a house with 5 women. I was going to get Spore for the girls, but with the ridiculous DRM on spore, there's no way I'll be getting it. I'm never putting something on my PC that I can't get rid of without a HDD format/OS reinstall.

If I did want this game for myself, 3 installs would be useless. I don't have a single game in the last 20 years that I haven't reinstalled at least 15+ times. X number of installs per year etc. would be a step in the right direction, but to be honest, I'm not likely to ever get a game that requires me to beg the company to continually activate/authenticate - what happens when the company dies/withdraws support.

Anyway, I'm certainly not going to be getting Spore, regardless of how good/crap it is. There's others out there.
September 18, 2008 10:39:11 AM

And now EA has stated that they will be doing this for all of their titles. All we can do is get word out there and make sure people know what they are doing. Anybody who knowingly buys this crap is just as bad as the companies that put it on there.
September 18, 2008 12:37:45 PM

Heres my solution to deal with this:

A company like EA cares only about one thing: its bottom line. We all need to go over to their forums, explain why we oppose this method of DRM, and tell them the following:

A) We are boycotting all EA games that contain any invasive DRM limits/rootkits
B) We are going to every forum where the game is being promoted, and tell others why DRM = bad
C) We explain some of the legal impication EA could face as a result of these rootkits.

My home state of NY recently passed a law having to do with software being downloaded/installed without user consent. I'm currently looking to see if I for one have an legal action against EA (hey, one of my friends was one of the plaintiffs against EA in the (still pending :D ) Madden lawsuit). If i do have some form of action, I plan to demand a way to remove the rootkit in question, and if EA fails to comply, I will sue them. Even though I will probably lose, it should get the point across...
September 18, 2008 3:01:58 PM

I keep hearing this idea that DRM is secretly out to stop second hand sales of games and is only using piracy as it's cover. The problem I have with that is people seem to ignore that the problem with second hand game sales IS PIRACY! Without piracy used game sales are no problem for PC gaming the same as it isn't for console gaming or any other market. Here's why:

Without piracy -

Person1 buys a game for $50. Person1 gets 100% value for 100% paid- 1:1

Person1 sells used game to Person2 for $35, but loses value of still owning the game presumably losing a percentage equal to the price he sold it for. Person2 only get's partial value because the game is used (had to wait for used copy, used CD, missing box/booklet etc.), again presumably equal to the amount he saved by not buying new. So now Person1 has a net value of 30% and only paid a net of $15(30% of the games cost). Person2 has net greater net value with 70% but also paid $35 or 70% of the games cost. The total 100% paid for 100% value - 1:1

With every additional resale of the game this ratio would theoretically stay the same.



But now add piracy into the mix and assume that each person makes a copy before selling-

Person1 sells used game to Person2 for $35, but still retains almost full value by still owning the game, roughly 100%. Person2 gets presumably the same value as before because what difference does it make to him that Person1 can still play it. So now Person1 has a net value of 100% and but only paid a net of $15(30% of the games cost). Person2 still get's his net value of 70% and still paid $35/70% of the games cost. The total 100% paid but 170% value - 1:1.7

Each subsequent copy and resale will result in a growing gap between the amount paid and the actual value gotten out of the game.
September 18, 2008 4:25:20 PM

Why is it that studio's without these extreme measures happen to make more profit per game than EA, with its "unbreakable" copy protction scheme?
September 18, 2008 4:31:50 PM

Quote:
Why is it that studio's without these extreme measures happen to make more profit per game than EA, with its "unbreakable" copy protction scheme?

Where's the proof in that. Look at the top 10 PC Game sales from 2007. EA owns that list. Even when you factor in digital distribution and MMO subscriptions those are both 'extreme' examples of DRM in themselves. Basically games that sell well have some heavy handed form of DRM.


1. World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade* – Vivendi (Blizzard) – 2.25 million
2. World of Warcraft* – Vivendi (Blizzard) – 914K
3. The Sims 2* – Electronic Arts – 534K
4. The Sims 2 Seasons Expansion Pack – Electronic Arts – 433K
5. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare* – Activision – 383K
6. Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars* – Electronic Arts – 350K
7. MS Age of Empires III* – Microsoft – 313K
8. Sim City 4* - Electronic Arts – 294K
9. MS Flight Simulator X* - Microsoft - 280K
10. The Sims 2 Bon Voyage Expansion Pack – Electronic Arts – 272K
September 18, 2008 9:19:06 PM

This is the kind of sh!t that has driven me to playing games on the Xbox360/PS3.
September 19, 2008 9:51:09 AM

Lets see I buy a game and I can't sell the game, seems like I just got the shaft, no I don't try to copy them but if I get tired of the game, NFS Carbon is the one going out the door next, what the beef, I OWN the game I did not buy the rights to USE the game
September 19, 2008 10:04:01 AM

number13 said:
I OWN the game I did not buy the rights to USE the game

I suggest you reread the EULA agreement that you clicked "I agree" to. You'll find that you are wrong.
September 19, 2008 10:21:25 AM

Good now that I know that EA is doing this, you can believe that I am voting with my pocket, by the way the Tarr Chronicles didn't look all that good to me FWIW
September 19, 2008 1:16:17 PM

To be completely honest, DRM would encourage pirating for me.

I change hardware on my rig, and often, because I like to keep my PC up-to-date. This usually causes me to reformat (depending on what was installed) which generally means that I lose all of my games.

What will I do when I hit the activation limit on a game? I'm not going to go out and spend full price for another game, I will pirate / crack it / whatever to ensure I can still play with my copy. (Note: I would never, ever pirate/crack a game without buying it first)

Quote:
If I did want this game for myself, 3 installs would be useless. I don't have a single game in the last 20 years that I haven't reinstalled at least 15+ times. X number of installs per year etc. would be a step in the right direction, but to be honest, I'm not likely to ever get a game that requires me to beg the company to continually activate/authenticate - what happens when the company dies/withdraws support.


+1 Except for the 15 years part. I've only been gaming for like 16. :p 

DRM just pisses me off and I'd like to use more colorful words, but I'll refrain.
September 19, 2008 1:38:49 PM

whoa, forgot I made this thread :p  almost a year ago.. and damn EA for making the title true.
September 19, 2008 2:19:28 PM

Ha, I didn't even realize this thread was that old until you pointed it out.
September 19, 2008 2:32:50 PM

purplerat said:
Quote:
Why is it that studio's without these extreme measures happen to make more profit per game than EA, with its "unbreakable" copy protction scheme?

Where's the proof in that. Look at the top 10 PC Game sales from 2007. EA owns that list. Even when you factor in digital distribution and MMO subscriptions those are both 'extreme' examples of DRM in themselves. Basically games that sell well have some heavy handed form of DRM.


1. World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade* – Vivendi (Blizzard) – 2.25 million
2. World of Warcraft* – Vivendi (Blizzard) – 914K
3. The Sims 2* – Electronic Arts – 534K
4. The Sims 2 Seasons Expansion Pack – Electronic Arts – 433K
5. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare* – Activision – 383K
6. Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars* – Electronic Arts – 350K
7. MS Age of Empires III* – Microsoft – 313K
8. Sim City 4* - Electronic Arts – 294K
9. MS Flight Simulator X* - Microsoft - 280K
10. The Sims 2 Bon Voyage Expansion Pack – Electronic Arts – 272K


EA owns that list because it's from 2007, none of those games have DRM or limited activations and 3 of them are sims games that pretty much every casual PC gamer and their dog own.

As for Digital Distribution and MMO Subscriptions being "Extreme" forms of DRM, I think you're mixing up "Extreme" and "Effective". EA's DRM is extreme by severly limiting installs and placing malware on your PC, while Steam and MMO subscriptions are effective, give freedom to play on whatever PC you like, unlimited installs, extremely user friendly and are not intrusive.

I pay for all my games as I believe in encouraging the development of good PC games and never intend to use pirated games or cracks of any kind, but if EA decides I've installed my game too many times, I'll have to visit one of these dodgy sites to crack my copy so I can continue to play it.

It boggles the mind that they haven't moved to a digital distribution system like steam that people have accepted and that has proved popular with gamers, especially since every big release from them recently has caused a huge backlash from the community due to their DRM. Yes, I'm well aware that Crysis and Crysis Warhead are now available on Steam, but Securom and the limited installations are still part of it.

EA really need to accept that their DRM is having the opposite effect on piracy, is losing them money and is ruining their reputation (or what was left of it to begin with).
September 19, 2008 2:45:52 PM

Quote:
none of those games have DRM

Please learn what DRM actually is and then we can continue this conversation. I can tell you from personal experience that the origianl Sims, which I bought on release, had DRM which forced me to buy a new ROM drive in order to play the game at all.

Also I used the word extreme in quotes on purpose because I was not mixing up extreme and effective, only pointing out that Steam gets a free pass for it's very heavy handed DRM because it works for with them and the user. When EA said Spore and Mass Effect would require the game to re-validate every 10 days people were so outraged that they actually back peddled on it. Steam by comparison re-validates every single time you play the game.
September 19, 2008 6:56:10 PM

One thing I don't mind about Steam validation is that most games are limited to a specific number of installs, the only catch is that only one account can be logged in and playing the game at one specific time. Fine by me.

It prevents what is important, installing the copy across multiple computers by only allowing one copy to run at one time. Forcing a limited number of activations does something different entirely... it only allows you three (or so) installs on different hardware before you can't use that copy any more at all. (Unless you call in and you're lucky enough to get another activation key... which is a tiresome, time-consuming chore)

I'm all for validating the install of a game every time I play the game, so long as I'm never limited by the number of installs as long as only one copy is active and running at a time. The only reason to limit the number of activations is for greed.
September 19, 2008 7:53:47 PM

Quote:
One thing I don't mind about Steam validation is that most games are limited to a specific number of installs, the only catch is that only one account can be logged in and playing the game at one specific time. Fine by me.

Actually you can be logged into Steam multiple times simultaneously and play the same game simultaneously. I believe the only limitation is that you can not play the same game online simultaneously, though it may very in different games. I've even been able to play the same game on the same account multiplayer via a LAN. I prefer Steam's method over EA's and wish they would have stuck with the 10 day re-validation portion and had scrapped the 3 one time activations. But don't be fooled into thinking Steam's DRM is anything less than very intrusive and restrictive in it's very nature. They have just done a really good job integrating it into something that work's very well for their customers.
September 19, 2008 8:04:56 PM

This limited activation BS must not have me in mind as a customer, because it seems like something is always happening that corrupts my OS and forces me to reinstall applications. I'm also very prone to hard drive failures, which is my unlucky curse in life.

I'm not someone who discards a game once it's two years old and complains about the "dated graphics." If the game is good, it could be 10+ years old and I'll still play it. So for this reason alone, the limited activation stuff really doesn't appeal to me.

Whenever I hear of limited activations, it's the only time I consider pirating a game I really want to play. At the very least, I look for a way online to circumvent the activation process on the retail version. But even if I do find a way around it, I rather not buy it and send a message that I approve of their policy.

I refused to play Bioshock until 2K removed its activation limit.
September 19, 2008 8:22:19 PM

rennervision,

I'm not tryin to pick on you specifically but I kind of find some irony in all these people who say they have to reformat their PC every couple months because in my experience the most common reason for OS corruption is using P2P or torrents. Actually since I started using Vista almost 2 years ago I haven't had to once reformat my PC due to OS corruption. That's because I now use Virtual Machine to run a secondary OS specifically for P2P and torrents. That thing is completely filled with garbage, but it's self contained so it's no issue.
September 20, 2008 3:39:16 PM

I've started a account at GOG.com and am going to enjoy 6 to 10 dollar games for a while, and I AM 60 that meanss that I was working with DOS 3.3 maybe you were in diapers then, as for the DRM BS, no I don.t follow it that close but not that they are going to limit the number of times I can install it, THAT is the pitts, I still have the baoxes and contentents for the MW4 series, Vengence, Mercenaries, and Black Knight, not to mention Freelancer, and Wing Commander 4, Max Payne 1&2, as well as Bioshock (interesting), Crysis(dumb), Mass Effect(dumber),NFS Carbon (OK),Grid(OMG) so a limited number of installs will make me quit buying from from EA, and I strip and reinstall XP pro about once a year, last time the MB died, will look at Vista this year maybe, or wait for Windows 7
September 20, 2008 3:49:54 PM

purplerat said:
rennervision,

I'm not tryin to pick on you specifically but I kind of find some irony in all these people who say they have to reformat their PC every couple months because in my experience the most common reason for OS corruption is using P2P or torrents.


Yeah, I know it's bizarre, and if I was someone else I would be convinced I was doing something shady as well. Just last week, for example, I ran into a problem with a game that kept freezing up my computer and forcing me to do a hard reboot. I kept trying to diagnose the problem, but nothing fixed it so my PC kept freezing. After about six hard reboots, my OS was running so slow that I just gave up and replaced the hard drive with a backup I made a few weeks earlier. I did a fresh install of the game and everything was fine. Sometimes it's a lot easier to fix a problem with a two-minute solution like that.

I love computers, but unfortunately they don't always love me back.
September 21, 2008 6:56:01 AM

Simple solution: do not buy/boycott games with the crap a$$ drm, or pirate:) 


I think ill do a little of both of the above:p 
September 22, 2008 8:31:58 AM

Jerb - if you pirate the game, that will only encourage more DRM.
September 23, 2008 4:04:09 PM

There's got to be a better substitute for this ridiculous DRM.

How about a limit of three activations every five days? When the five days are up, it resets to zero. That will pretty much keep you honest, because a bunch of pirated copies couldn't be activated during that period.

Or activation requires you to authenticate your disc while online, then you're free to use the game as you please - no activation limit required. That way you can't subsititute the executable file with a no-DVD crack and activate the game.
September 23, 2008 4:34:46 PM

rennervision said:
There's got to be a better substitute for this ridiculous DRM.

How about a limit of three activations every five days? When the five days are up, it resets to zero. That will pretty much keep you honest, because a bunch of pirated copies couldn't be activated during that period.

Or activation requires you to authenticate your disc while online, then you're free to use the game as you please - no activation limit required. That way you can't subsititute the executable file with a no-DVD crack and activate the game.


Your exactly right. While this DRM scheme is less than ideal people have to realize that there has to be something. And in all honesty I do not think EA is too far off the mark here. Ideas like allowing 3 activations per X numbers of days, or allowing people to de-activate an installation or even something like they originally proposed in having 10 day re-activations based on a user account and you have a pretty good protection scheme.
September 24, 2008 5:39:53 AM

purplerat said:
Your exactly right. While this DRM scheme is less than ideal people have to realize that there has to be something. And in all honesty I do not think EA is too far off the mark here. Ideas like allowing 3 activations per X numbers of days, or allowing people to de-activate an installation or even something like they originally proposed in having 10 day re-activations based on a user account and you have a pretty good protection scheme.


Now who is deluding themselves. It doesn't matter if they did that, the game would still be pirated quickly and probably before it even came out.

I am willing to give a little for the publishers to have a bit of delusional peace of mind, but they are asking too much now. If it worked, that would be one thing, but it demonstrably does not. And don't pull that malarky about it stopping people from sharing with their friends because it doesn't. It clearly does not because I've read about people doing just that. Plus they even allow for it in the EULA. Most of the piracy numbers that get touted are so absurd that it could only be supported by Asian pirates. And there really quite simply is nothing you can do about them, not legally, not physically, not technologically that will stop them from pirating your software.

On the other hand Steam does SOMETHING to dissuade piracy by means of providing a valuable service that restricts the user in a reasonable manner. It can be cracked, but most gamers don't want to crack it because they want to keep using it for it's legitimate purposes.

The best solution available is to simply make the experience more pleasant for your paying customers than the criminals. That way the criminals, seeing the paying customers getting something that they are not, would in turn be tempted to buy the game. What EA is doing is the exact opposite of that and it can ONLY hurt sales. It is stupid, it is damaging to everyone but pirates, and it costs them money. The only way we can get this through to them is to make as much noise as possible for as long as possible sot hat it becomes one of the big questions that gets asked by gaming magazines and websites. Make it something that gets graded just like graphics and story. Only then will EA even notice and then maybe, just maybe, they will listen.
September 24, 2008 11:57:10 AM

Lets face it mates. This incarnation of securom isn't to end piracy. It is just to kill the second hand market.

Spore and Warhead numbers on torrents reveal that alone. Hasn't stop nobody so far, and honestly isn't going to stop.
September 24, 2008 12:01:42 PM

^ +1

Valve definitely went down the right path.
September 24, 2008 2:15:57 PM

While you're making a good point here you are missing a few important points. If EA was capable of making an excellent anti-piracy/anti-sharing/DRM solution that was non-invasive they would. They've estimated the cost of designing, creating, and supporting a solution like Steam. They've found it to be too expensive for the benefit.

Everyone talks about "something like Steam" being the solution. I've done it in quite a few posts. What I'm realizing now is that it was idiocy on my part. More and more companies have seen the success of Steam and are trying it. Even Stardock the great bastion of DRM free games is doing it now with their Impulse software.

What I've come to realize is that it is an awful business model. I don't want 30 different pieces of software that are constantly eating up my bandwidth, constantly updating things, and most importantly constantly TRYING TO SELL ME CRAP. I like Steam, but if EA and the rest of the industry goes to a Steam-like model it'll be worse than the DRM.

You'll get your monthly internet bill at the new per gig rates and it'll cost you a fortune. You'll have to close 900 ads before you can play anything and you'll have 20 pieces of software running rampant updating things on your machine. It would make sitting down at your computer like walking through the mall. No I don't want your damn lotion, and why would anyone want to get a massage in the middle of the mall?

Your other option is to have every publisher use one service. This certainly isn't going to happen. EA isn't going to want to pay Valve, a competitor, to use their service heavily. It would just add overhead to the cost of games anyhow.

I'm expecting to see games on some from of proprietary USB key pretty soon. It'll be a step back to the days of Nintendo cartridges, but without some form of DRM at the hardware level I don't think PC gaming is going to be able to compete with consoles from a publisher's perspective.
September 24, 2008 4:20:23 PM

clay12340 said:
While you're making a good point here you are missing a few important points. If EA was capable of making an excellent anti-piracy/anti-sharing/DRM solution that was non-invasive they would. They've estimated the cost of designing, creating, and supporting a solution like Steam. They've found it to be too expensive for the benefit.


You stand correct. One other opinion is that their current business model is outdated, and like all other bussiness models that get outdated, they disappear. In my opinion,in a few years, only the online resellers or a "developer-publisher" model will appear. Blizzard is a great example of it. Will Increase profits for the publisher-developer on the same units sold. If they are sold online, even greater profits per unit sold.

clay12340 said:

What I've come to realize is that it is an awful business model. I don't want 30 different pieces of software that are constantly eating up my bandwidth, constantly updating things, and most importantly constantly TRYING TO SELL ME CRAP. I like Steam, but if EA and the rest of the industry goes to a Steam-like model it'll be worse than the DRM.


You made a silly statement....

clay12340 said:

You'll get your monthly internet bill at the new per gig rates and it'll cost you a fortune. You'll have to close 900 ads before you can play anything and you'll have 20 pieces of software running rampant updating things on your machine. It would make sitting down at your computer like walking through the mall. No I don't want your damn lotion, and why would anyone want to get a massage in the middle of the mall?

Your other option is to have every publisher use one service.


....that you kindly corrected it. You probably describe the steps that is going to take.

From brick and mortal exclusively, to several gaming portals and brick&mortar sales, to several DRM, to one DRM service.
Gaming Alliance seems capable of pulling it off. Microsoft is used to impose standards. Not all of them great, but effective.
Valve has a good system so far, but should be worried in evolving the system. And get as many partners as it can.

clay12340 said:

I'm expecting to see games on some from of proprietary USB key pretty soon. It'll be a step back to the days of Nintendo cartridges, but without some form of DRM at the hardware level I don't think PC gaming is going to be able to compete with consoles from a publisher's perspective.


It would take Daemon Tools Team, less than a month to pull a Virtual USB. And all that investment would be just a speed bump on the road. From a publisher perspective, and they have the numbers, there is as much piracy in consoles, as in PCs. It is just chip it and go. Check the torrents on this one, it is not hard. Check the price of the chips as well, they are dirty cheap.

This "complains" from the developers are helpless. I really understand them, i really do, they do the games.
When a publisher complains, i turn on my poker face. It is a funny, quite silly face. Why?

Because a publisher nowadays is nothing more than a distributor. He might fund it, or not. It is not his job to make cutting edge graphics, revolutionary gameplay, extensive multi-player or patching.
He basically has 2 jobs:

  • Funding
  • Distributing (read: selling, marketing, logistics)

    He may provide customer support, but in those cases it is usually just a frontend (branding) to the developer, or DRM customer support. In EA case, the latter is more common.

    Now, lets think. Globalization killed thousands of middle-man companies on Informatics, Steel, Primary Goods, Textile Industries....everywhere. Some companies took a Top-Down aproach, others took a Horizontal Aproach and few others outsourced everything and nowadays just glue the sticker.

    Only Oil is so far evading this globalization. But i guess with this crisis we are having, it will be the next in line.

    EA is a middle man. It is having a hard time in a globalized economy. Tell me something new.
    They need to evolve. Maybe Securom is the next evolution. They can't control piracy, they will kill the second hand market. Sounds like a good first step to a Top-Down distribution system.

    The next logical step, when the second hand market takes a nose dive, EA will create exclusive shops. Or almost. And those yes, will sell new and used games.

    From reading daily, news about piracy, DRM, comments and everything. And using a bit of Critical Thinking ( witch btw, i was heavily criticized for), i guess my conclusion isn't too far off.



    September 24, 2008 7:02:38 PM

    Lets see... Steam works and works very VERY well.
    Impulse works and works very well. and Stardock had well... Stardock before Impulse. This isn't a new direction for them, just a new frontend.
    EA has Direct2Drive which sucks horribly. They failed utterly to learn the lessons from Stardock and Steam.

    I can understand EA not wanting to pay a competitor to use their service but really, it is either that, or develop something similar. Their online distribution system is an embarrassment and brick and mortar sales are drying up. Online distribution is the direction things are going. It is up to them whether or not they move with the times. Yes it is a huge investment, but that doesn't mean it won't pay off in the long run.
    September 24, 2008 8:03:10 PM

    Quote:
    ....that you kindly corrected it. You probably describe the steps that is going to take.

    From brick and mortal exclusively, to several gaming portals and brick&mortar sales, to several DRM, to one DRM service.
    Gaming Alliance seems capable of pulling it off. Microsoft is used to impose standards. Not all of them great, but effective.
    Valve has a good system so far, but should be worried in evolving the system. And get as many partners as it can.


    I work in an industry that has this exact thing. It is awful. It adds huge fees and is an enormous barrier to new products coming to market. Every organization is trying to make money. Put all your eggs in one basket and people like the convenience and use it. When someone else tries to put an egg in the basket the organization that owns the basket wants a bigger and bigger piece.

    Valve needs no partners. They are succeeding. Who doesn't have Steam installed? They should perhaps offer to sell their services to others which they do, but taking on a partner would be an awful move for them in my opinion. It would add bureaucracy and more interests to serve.

    I'm of the opinion that the PC gaming alliance is going to come up with a new hardware ranking system. I'm guessing it ends up being something akin to the windows experience meter that they can stamp on boxes for requirements. I don't see them getting much else implemented. I really hope I'm wrong here.


    Quote:
    It would take Daemon Tools Team, less than a month to pull a Virtual USB. And all that investment would be just a speed bump on the road. From a publisher perspective, and they have the numbers, there is as much piracy in consoles, as in PCs. It is just chip it and go. Check the torrents on this one, it is not hard. Check the price of the chips as well, they are dirty cheap.


    I didn't say it would be effective at stopping people from cracking it. I said I expect to see it. Chip it and go works just fine, but your average PC owner isn't going to buy and install a chip. Best Buy still makes a killing on installing RAM.

    People seem to be much more comfortable with software than they are with hardware in my opinion. If you can move it away from dropping in a new .exe file in the directory, then I think you'd limit a large portion of the pirated copy user base.

    Maybe I'm completely wrong here. I just fully expect to see more methods of anti-piracy show up and fade away before anyone is willing to submit to a single top-down distribution system.


    I don't understand the sentiment that EA is failing or falling behind the times. Yes their shares are down, but so is pretty much everyone else's. The company is attempting buy outs and doesn't seem to be in any danger of closing up shop. I'd think that they are doing pretty well.

    They are publishing games that have terribly restrictive DRM. They are publishing games that are half finished in my opinion as well. They are also publishing most of the games that are topping the charts. EA seems to be doing alright as a company.
    September 24, 2008 8:59:12 PM

    Thought this was a very interesting article about DRM. I think it shows a little bit of hypocrisy in the game developers as well:

    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080720-ubisoft-d...

    Quote:
    Ubisoft DRM snafu reminds us what's wrong with PC gaming
    By Ben Kuchera | Published: July 20, 2008 - 10:05PM CT

    The PC gaming industry likes to blame piracy for many of its ills, but it's clear that no one has found a cure-all for this particular disease. Various forms of DRM added to the retail versions of PC games are—at the very least—annoying for the gamer who bought a boxed or digital copy of a game. At the very worst, some methods of DRM can make the game unplayable. Ubisoft ran into such a glitch with the CD-check built into the PC version of Rainbow Six Vegas 2; users who downloaded the game from an official source didn't have a disc to pass the check, causing a new patch to break legally downloaded versions of the game. Ubisoft had a novel—not to mention cheap—way to fix this: a crack that allows the game to play without a disc in the drive. The issue? The crack came from the "warez" group Reloaded, with no attribution or notice that third-party code was used to fix the DRM issue.

    While developers and publishers would like to think that the DRM included in PC games goes a long way towards combating piracy, with almost every big-name release, a full version of the game—along with the needed crack to be able to play the pirated version—is released to the expected places online. For those of us who buy PC games legally, downloading and using these cracks is sometimes the only way to get the games to run correctly on our systems or to make playing the game a more convenient experience. The fact is that illegally-obtained games often run better than their legal counterparts, and this fact is in no way lost to the hardcore gamers who wish to continue to support the industry, but feel punished for paying for their games. When the legal version feels crippled, and the illegal copies are easier to run, something is very, very wrong.

    The UK Community Manager had the expected bland response to users outraged at the company using ostensibly illegal DRM-circumvention techniques on their own products as a way to fix its mistakes. "The file was removed from the site over a week ago now, and the matter is being thoroughly investigated by senior tech support managers here at Ubisoft... Needless to say we do not support or condone copy protection circumvention methods like this, and this particular incident is in direct conflict with Ubisoft's policies," Ubi.Vigil posted to the official forums.

    The game broke, and the easiest way to fix it was to turn to the very pirates that the PC gaming industry vilifies at every opportunity. The uneasy truth is that DRM is an elaborate way to say something is being done to combat piracy, and the publishers have long relied on the piracy groups to "fix" their games that ship infected with these often-invasive programs. Anyone with even a passing interest in technology knows that technological measures do little to stop hacking by determined users: new PSP firmware is cracked in hours, games are cracked and leaked before the retail versions hit the shelves, and anyone who reads Apple blogs knows how to jailbreak their iPhones. The harder companies try to lock their products down, the more likely they are to test the limits of legitimate customers who look on enviously as the pirates enjoy a superior user experience.

    It's unlikely Ubisoft has learned any lesson, and we doubt anyone will be punished for this public-relations gaffe, but it's just another piece of data pointing to the utter uselessness of most modern DRM schemes. When even the publishers realize that the pirates are the only people who know how to make their games work better, we're left wondering if everyone in the industry finally sees PC gaming DRM as the naked emperor it so obviously is.
    September 25, 2008 10:10:06 AM

    I hope it makes enough waves that something changes, but I kind of doubt it will.
    September 25, 2008 10:27:32 AM

    clay12340 said:


    I work in an industry that has this exact thing. It is awful. It adds huge fees and is an enormous barrier to new products coming to market. Every organization is trying to make money. Put all your eggs in one basket and people like the convenience and use it. When someone else tries to put an egg in the basket the organization that owns the basket wants a bigger and bigger piece.


    Well, the bugger is Gaming companies have reached Entertainment Industry status. I can fully understand if a Steel Industry can only produce on type of product. The price of one piece of machinery can surpass 1 million euros. Plus insurance and maintenance. Even then, the ones that are passing "well" by this crisis are the ones that diversified their products. The ones that didn't ( diversification = eggs in several baskets ) are passing a hard time now. Like in chess, you sometimes have to lose a pawn, or risk a tower, to check on the King and keep yourself afloat.

    I guess commercial contracts with EA can vary a lot, from game to game. From fixed fee, to fixed percentage, to simple buyout of IP distribution rights. Any way, if they are looking to new ways to distribute, there are plenty of companies that have it studied and have massive size. They do it well also.

    Don't forget that although stock prices varies a bit in games, the production costs are quite low. Below the 1$ a piece with case, CDs and Manuals. And as i said earlier, if EA got somebody half smart doing the contracts, Product life-cycles, and other characteristics will be in that contract.


    clay12340 said:

    Valve needs no partners. They are succeeding. Who doesn't have Steam installed? They should perhaps offer to sell their services to others which they do, but taking on a partner would be an awful move for them in my opinion. It would add bureaucracy and more interests to serve.

    I'm of the opinion that the PC gaming alliance is going to come up with a new hardware ranking system. I'm guessing it ends up being something akin to the windows experience meter that they can stamp on boxes for requirements. I don't see them getting much else implemented. I really hope I'm wrong here.


    When i meant partner i mean developing ones. Valve is doing a great job distributing. But doing a great job, doesn't mean you can rest. In there is a big profits to be made on a enhanced business model, it will be. So, no sleeping on the chair.

    I hope your wrong about gaming alliance, for the same reasons you hope you are wrong. I'm still dazed how i could write this last sentence in the morning and with no coffee.

    clay12340 said:

    I didn't say it would be effective at stopping people from cracking it. I said I expect to see it. Chip it and go works just fine, but your average PC owner isn't going to buy and install a chip. Best Buy still makes a killing on installing RAM.



    Joe Consumer is not very smart. He prefers to overpay for a simple-quick job than to do it himself. I worked in big distribution. All the feminism in the world ends when it is time to change a tire. Of course Best Buy and other chains know this.

    On that example, to all women reading this, please don't take it personally. First off, because it is the truth.

    clay12340 said:

    People seem to be much more comfortable with software than they are with hardware in my opinion. If you can move it away from dropping in a new .exe file in the directory, then I think you'd limit a large portion of the pirated copy user base.

    Maybe I'm completely wrong here. I just fully expect to see more methods of anti-piracy show up and fade away before anyone is willing to submit to a single top-down distribution system.


    I think EA is steady heading that way. This type of protectionist DRM is a good first move. It is not anti-piracy, because they probably they figured out, they would never could have enough ROI on that matter. Its like Death and Taxes. Remember this is a global market now, one thing is RIAA or MPAA. Other thing is a guy in Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and South America. You can try enforce it in the big market (US&Canada), but you can forget about the rest of the world.

    Ever went to Brazilian "camelô" shoppings ? For example ? There is no chance you will have a ROI vs piracy.


    clay12340 said:

    I don't understand the sentiment that EA is failing or falling behind the times. Yes their shares are down, but so is pretty much everyone else's. The company is attempting buy outs and doesn't seem to be in any danger of closing up shop. I'd think that they are doing pretty well.

    They are publishing games that have terribly restrictive DRM. They are publishing games that are half finished in my opinion as well. They are also publishing most of the games that are topping the charts. EA seems to be doing alright as a company.


    EA is doing pretty well, but like all corporations, their sole intention is expansion. Thus the DRM. But they are still learning, how the customer deals with that DRM. So, business as usual !!!

    PS: Good chatting btw.
    September 25, 2008 10:46:16 AM

    copasetic said:
    Now EA is being hit with a class action lawsuit over the SecuROM program.

    http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3170131

    I don't think it'll go anywhere frankly, but obviously people are still annoyed about this.


    People will backlash!

    Take the Amazon review phenomeon and stuff like that! Consumers will fight the companies! SOmeone might even take class-action suit... sweet...
    September 25, 2008 12:04:54 PM

    Dang, someone beat me to the lawsuit...I was going to file in civil court later today...
    !