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Dissapointed with TH's attitude about game piracy

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February 15, 2008 12:42:56 AM

After the launch of Bioshock, Tomsharware posted a video of their editors talking about their disapproval of 2k's attempt at copy protection. This had to do with the amount of installs one was aloud to have per copy of Bioshock. Now, I know this may seem like old news but I have been thinking lately about another editors video that is more resent. In this video the same two guys(sorry guys, I can't remember your names. For the record I enjoy watching your podcast) are talking about how piracy is hurting PC gaming. So that brings me to my point: Tomshardware and websites like this should be educating people on the topic of piracy and supporting those companies that try to prevent it.

I love games and, above all, I love PC games. It saddens me greatly that people feel so comfortable downloading a pirated version of a game. It makes me even more angry that people complain when companies try to prevent piracy. A good example of this is the launch of HL 2. I'm sure we all remember the backlash that Valve got for making people activate their copies before playing. These are the kind of things that sites like Tomshardware should be discussing in a positive manner and taking the opportunity to educate people on the benefits of initiatives like online activation. Benefits like more PC games in the future and cheaper prices...

I will say one more thing about piracy. Those of you who download games should know one thing: you will never enjoy a downloaded game as much as you would if you'd purchased it. Please support the industry that brings you so much pleasure.
February 15, 2008 1:05:15 AM

I will respond to this, in detail, when I have more time.
February 15, 2008 1:42:41 AM

Ben and Rob, sorry I forgot your names guys ;) 
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February 15, 2008 4:19:33 AM

I have to personally say that i am happy that i did not pay for SimCity: Societies. That game is a joke and is not deserving of the SimCity title. Tilted Mills screwed up royally when they decided to take this game in a "new direction." So i say it again I'm glad that i did not pay for that piece of crap programming. And i really truely hope that Will and Maxis take back the SimCity franchise and give it a proper sequel, dubbed; SimCity V. And thus, in some cases piracy is not entirely bad. It saved me the 50 dollars that i would have spent on it, and i got to put it towards another game, Oblivion. Which, funny thing, is deserving of the money I purchased with it.
February 15, 2008 4:28:56 AM

drm is hated so much because it reduces the value of the game

if you look at what most people say about pirate copies,
there just much more convenient and easier to use
many priate games never even need to be installed (many of them are a simple download then run the exe and the game launches and just works. thats a instant install)

and what everyone hates even more is that the DRM only effects the legit users, it is like being punished for someone else's crime

most pirates will never even notice any sign of drm

drm causes most of the piracy because people are tired of jumping through endless hoops just to play a game when i purchased battlefield 2 (extremely good game and walmart sells it for $20) it wanted the cd every time i wanted to launch the game

i have 6 games like that, imagine having to swap between 6 cds when gaming because of drm

but a mini image fixed all of those problems by making the game more convenient to use and it also makes the game run faster because it doesnt have to periodically check the cd

many of the most successful games has little or no drm

while they were still pirated in small amounts, the companies wouldnt stand for that, so they created obnoxious drm's that just made the games frustrating to use

they should know that drm never works

when they DRM'ed or banned alcohol in the 20's, shortly after, there was a "speakeasy" on almost every street corner where people can get "pirated" alcoholic drinks (ps many police when to speakeasies when off duty )

every form of restriction or DRM through out history was meet with a retaliation like this
February 15, 2008 10:30:17 AM

I buy all my games (about 8 or 9 last year, including a few old titles), and I absolutely hate DRM and cd checks, only a few of the games I played last year had basically no such "features", Supreme Commander (which was patched to remove it - by the devs), Guild Wars EotN (which is online only anyway, like WoW) and UT3 (pretty much a tradition), i'll be getting a game soon, Sins of a Solar Empire, has no DRM, the devs are against it.

I gotta say though, Steam has been pretty great.
February 15, 2008 11:58:18 AM

I don't have a problem with copy protection, unless it becomes invasive, and affects my enjoyment of the game - like in bioshock, where it causes crashes, makes my computer more vulnerable to hackers, and generally screws me around - in that case, i'd rather get the pirate copy, and if its worth my money, buy a copy afterwards
February 15, 2008 12:19:51 PM

spuddyt said:
I don't have a problem with copy protection, unless it becomes invasive, and affects my enjoyment of the game - like in bioshock, where it causes crashes, makes my computer more vulnerable to hackers, and generally screws me around - in that case, i'd rather get the pirate copy, and if its worth my money, buy a copy afterwards


Ditto for me. I am not prepared to buy Bioshock because of the DRM and will continue to use a cracked copy (so 2K have screwed themselves). I was also not too impressed with it either (successor to System Shock 2 my arse)... Copy protection has to be fairly transparent or it becomes a usage restriction.

I will only pay for games I enjoy playing I should also say...

Support the PC Gaming Industry or we'll all be playing on consoles!! :non: 

Bob
February 15, 2008 12:46:22 PM

drm leads to pirating

when someone moved from a ipod to a zune only to find out that the zune wont play their music from itunes

do you really thing those users will buy all 1000-2000 songs all over? (and no the burning to cd trick doesnt work, it would cost like $50 worth of cds to do that and it will take months to do )

nope they pirate them

i bet most of the piracy the drm companies see are just people re downloading their connection that was lost due to drm

drm content is more restricted and only the legit users suffer from these restrictions.

and in many cases game developers don't release games worth buying for pc but will release a really good game for consoles

and some developers feel too lazy to even make a demo of their game (since you cant judge a book by it's cover, you take it out in the library first and read it, but since you cant do this for pc games, a mistake in buying a crappy game could cost you $60 thats non refundable )
February 15, 2008 7:17:20 PM

I would agree that it sux to spend $50-60 on a game and either it sux or it only lasts 8-10hrs tops. Plus, on the console side(and maybe pc) these game makers want to you pay 50-60 then a few months later nickel and dime you for downloadable extras. I'm not saying I agree with piracy but as the economy go south expect to see alot more piracy. Can't buy games when you spend all your money on gas.
February 15, 2008 10:05:07 PM

I haven't read TH's position regarding piracy, so I can't comment on it, but here's my position.

As far as music piracy goes, it's like this...

I'm in my thirties, I've moved the best part of 10 times over the years. Between that and light-fingered friends, I've had various CDs, casettes and vynal records (remember those), disappear. As far as I'm concerned, the record companies in question have already got their money off me, THEY RE NOT GETTING IT AGAIN...

So yes, I'm going to download mp3s

Game Piracy...

A friend a few doors down often buys games, then arrives at my door because they won't work on his PC. Often this is due to improper specs on the box, e.g. insisting on winxp sp2 without saying it on the back (we both stayed at sp1 til sp3 came out), or down to games not running because of Nero or Alcohol or some such technology installed. To me this shows arrogance and igorance on the side of the developer, i.e. It works on ours so it should work on yours, or tough luck to you.

Game Piracy 2 ...

Internet checks: This might seem reasonable in this day and age, but there's one huge catch to this - what happens if the company goes belly up. Valve and the Steam thingy is a piont in question. Yes you can play in offline mode, but only if you connect to the server first, then explicitly choose it. If you change your hardware, then you need to reconnect. To my knowledge, Valve have not made any definite promises as to what will happen if they vanish suddenly. Anyone who bought Sin Episode 1 will know how a company can just disappear off the face of the earth. I have games from years ago, from companies that are long gone. I can still install and run them, even though the guys that coded them are gone on to far different things.

In short, the more companies try to enforce piracy prevention measures, the more we will react against them, as such draconion (did I spell that right?) things fall into the same category as excessive censorship and book-burning.
February 16, 2008 2:54:17 AM

I have to say, I'm shocked that you guys actually believe the crap being said here.
Quote:
A friend a few doors down often buys games, then arrives at my door because they won't work on his PC.
I have worked at the management level of the video game retail industry for years(I don't any more), dealing with tens of thousands of customers. Being a manager I have dealt with all kinds returns and complaints. I can tell you that the percentage of people that bought a PC game that wouldn't run on their computer was well below one precent. For every 500 PC games sold out of my store I would have at most one person tell me that they couldn't get it to run.
Quote:
drm causes most of the piracy because people are tired of jumping through endless
The notion that some people only pirate games due to DRM is total crap. I've never heard any of my friends or acquaintances who play pirated games tell me they did it because of DRM, that crap won't fly with me. You just enjoy not paying for things. I remember taking home Doom for free from the store(a shareware version). You had to pay to unlock the game but I had found a keygen that unlocked it for free. You're telling me that this keygen was a result DRM. DRM is only here because of piracy. I don't remember jumping through any hoops. I'd like to know what hoops you are talking about.
Quote:
most pirates will never even notice any sign of drm
They may not notice any DRM(not that I have from buying games) but they will notice viruses and install problems and have to run other programs that will give them trouble(ie Demon tools) I haven't used virus protection for about three years now and I've never gotten a virus, why do you think that is; I can tell you it's not from a lack of Internet use.
Quote:
and what everyone hates even more is that the DRM only effects the legit users, it is like being punished for someone elses crime
It's because of the legit users that those people can commit these crimes. It's only because of legit users that great games are still made for the PC.

I understand that the cost of video games is too high. I also understand that in some countries the vast majority of gamers would never be able to afford to buy the games that they play. I think that these companies need to rethink their retail strategies.
Quote:
and some developers feel too lazy to even make a demo of their game (since you cant judge a book by it's cover, you take it out in the library first and read it, but since you cant do this for pc games, a mistake in buying a crappy game could cost you $60 that's non refundable

I read reviews, lots of them before I decide to go out and but a game. I also download demos, seeing as most devs do offer them and watch gameplay video.

The fact remains that you guys are fighting a battle that won't be won. All you are managing to do is hurt the industry even though you're saying that you're just trying to hurt the publisher.

Companies right now are looking at ways to cut down on piracy. Now, why do you think that is? It's because they know that if they can manage to cut piracy by just 5% it would mean millions!! Cutting down piracy by only five-ten percent would mean more revenue than if they had simply made the game better or fixed the bugs before releasing it. As far as I'm concerned those who pirate games are like leaches and any thing that burns them off is great with me.

This is the kind of education that a website like TH needs to share with the public.
February 16, 2008 8:54:54 AM

FaceLifter said:
The notion that some people only pirate games due to DRM is total crap. I've never heard any of my friends or acquaintances who play pirated games tell me they did it because of DRM, that crap won't fly with me. You just enjoy not paying for things. I remember taking home Doom for free from the store(a shareware version). You had to pay to unlock the game but I had found a keygen that unlocked it for free. You're telling me that this keygen was a result DRM. DRM is only here because of piracy. I don't remember jumping through any hoops. I'd like to know what hoops you are talking about.

Excuse me, sir, but the only one talking crap here is you.

You obviously don't know what you're talking about, and from what you're saying I highly doubt you really ever dealt with problematic software or any sort of DRM at all.

Ever had the pleasure of dealing with StarForce on your PC?
You probably don't even know what that is, so look it up.

Ever had the pleasure of dealing with the Bioshock installation and its DRM?
If you didn't run into any problems, then you're just one of the few who didn't. I suggest you go check 2K's forums before assuming that everything would work fine for everyone just as long as it works fine for you.

FaceLifter said:
They may not notice any DRM(not that I have from buying games) but they will notice viruses and install problems and have to run other programs that will give them trouble(ie Demon tools) I haven't used virus protection for about three years now and I've never gotten a virus, why do you think that is; I can tell you it's not from a lack of Internet use.

O rly?!
Heh, that's certainly a new one for me!
I've been using image drives, loaders, cracks, keygens, and whatever else you can think of as far as I can remember, and I've NEVER EVER had a single virus as a result, or any other problem as a matter of fact.

What I did have, though, was that F#CK!N StarForce screwing up my PC, to "protect" whatever game some company decided was too precious to the point of screwing the legitimate consumer who actually decided to pay for the game (i.e me).

FaceLifter said:
Companies right now are looking at ways to cut down on piracy. Now, why do you think that is? It's because they know that if they can manage to cut piracy by just 5% it would mean millions!!

Let them keep trying to cut down on whatever they want, they're not going to succeed. Every copy-protection they come up with will get cracked eventually.
You're right that it's a war that's never going to be won... by them.
They'll keep tightening their grip and everyone will keep getting their games without paying, and eventually, those who were once like you will turn to pirating, once they're screwed enough times.

FaceLifter said:
Cutting down piracy by only five-ten percent would mean more revenue than if they had simply made the game better or fixed the bugs before releasing it. As far as I'm concerned those who pirate games are like leaches and any thing that burns them off is great with me.

So basically, what you're saying is, screwing the customer gets them more money? And getting screwed is OK with you as a customer?!

They have to deserve my HARD EARNED money in order to get it!
Why the hell should I pay for something they didn't even bother to improve or release bug-free, and instead spent time thinking of ways to screw up my PC and limit my use of the game?

What would make them sell more and lose less money is if they actually focus on the damn GAME, IMPROVE it, and release it BUG-FREE and a bit optimized for once, instead of spending time and money on the copy protection.

How much money do you think is spent on developing these copy protection schemes that eventually end up getting cracked sooner rather than later?

Wouldn't you say that they're better off NOT spending that money on such useless tools, and in doing so cut costs and charge less for a game?

Wouldn't that make it much more attractive to purchase for the buyer?

Wouldn't that make a person WANT to support the developers?

Trust me, if people don't want to buy a certain game, they wouldn't buy it whether they did have another way of getting or not.
Same with people who do want to pay for a game. They'll do it either way.

And as someone mentioned earlier, games are just too expensive to buy, too short to last, and often too buggy to enjoy.

Not everyone can afford to pay $50+ for every game they want (keep in mind it's even more expensive in other countries), and not everyone wants to pay full price for a rushed and unfinished half-a$$ed game.

Some games are definitely worth buying though, such as the Orange Box. Easily the best investment in a game I've ever made, regardless of the minor annoyances that Steam causes every once in a while.

February 16, 2008 10:15:57 AM

i think nowadays, a lot of the DRM encourages pirates - simply for the challenge - how long did it take vista? That was because hackers like to prove people who make an "unhackable" system, WRONG
February 16, 2008 5:38:43 PM

No protection system is unbreakable, everyone knows that, including developpers. They just want to make it hard enough so people prefer buying the games. Usually, they fail, as it is less hassle to run a pirated copy than the actual games.

Still, I'm not sure what solution would be the best. I wonder if the gaming community would really buying more games if all copy protection and DRM hoops were removed. Is those games without any protection do sell better, or worse, than protected ones? I haven't seen any numbers on this.

At the end, one thing is sure, downloading stuff illegally without paying a dime surely hurt the industry and prevent publishers to invest more money, which equal games being not as good as they could be.
February 16, 2008 7:18:38 PM

I'm not sure why you have an issue with THG's posistion on piracy? They are against it, but don't always agree with the methods used to prevent it, which is what I think you'd find to be the posistion of most people educated in the matter. I'm starting to get real upset with this secu-rom crap. I paid good money for my ROM Drive emulation software, but I'm finding more an more that I still have to use the CD and thus I'm back to having to find No-CD cracks. And they are out there which indicates that pirates are not being stop, instead it's just making more of a hassle for people like my self who buy games legally but want to be free to use them how we please.
February 17, 2008 12:23:17 AM

purplerat said:
I'm not sure why you have an issue with THG's posistion on piracy? They are against it, but don't always agree with the methods used to prevent it, which is what I think you'd find to be the posistion of most people educated in the matter.


I figured it's time for me to weigh in on this thread, even though Purplerat did a pretty good job summarizing my perspective on the matter (though I'm just one editor here).

Facelifter, I think if you read through some od my posts on the PC Gaming Slump video thread, you may get a better idea of where I stand on the issue of game piracy. But in short, here it is:

I hate it. I think it's contributing to the slump of PC gaming sales here in the States. I think anyone who pirates games and also complains about how there aren't enough good PC games is a filthy hypocrite. And I think most folks that claim they download games to try them out before they buy them are full of crap. To me, you can't claim to be a PC gamer if you're cheating the developers and publishers who make the game. So if you want to download games without paying for them, fine. Go for it. But don't come crying to me or anyone else about the death of PC gaming, because you're part of the problem.

There, I said it.

Now that I've sufficiently pissed of a large percentage of my own audience, here's my view of the other side of the coin:

SecuROM is complete and utter BS. It contributed to quite possibly the worst PC game launch in history. I have no problem with activation keys or even disc-in-tray requirements. But restricting my freedom to play my purchased game when and where I want is outrageous. So yeah, don't pirate games, gamers. But to the developers and publishers, don't slap the cuffs on your honest customers.
February 17, 2008 1:17:13 AM

Here's what really pisses me off about how SecuRom and the likes only screw over honest people. Last week I bought Worms World Party for my wife as a Valentines day present because it had been one of our favorite games to play when we first started dating. In trying to find a legit demo for that game to make sure it would work on Vista I came across several sites where I could have gotten the pirated full version. Instead I tested the legit demo and bought 2 copies so there would be no issues with us playing online together. But when I tried to copy the CD with Virtual Drive Pro it wouldn't copy. That really sucks because between the 5 different computers, including 2 laptops, we might want to play on we always have to have the disc with us. Honestly I dont think I should have even had to buy 2 copies to play the game how I wanted in the first place, and look how much good it did me to play by their rules.
February 17, 2008 5:52:30 AM

Thanks Rob, and I'm sorry I didn't spend more time reading up on your posts. What you just said has cleared somethings up for me. The only thing that I would say is now maybe it's time to have a podcast discussion about the issue. During the Bioshock DRM podcast you talked about one side of the issue which people like this eat up and spit back out. If you had taken some time to talk more about the issue of piracy I would have been very happy(not that you need to make me happy;)) The dev's that put their lives on hold and poured their hearts into Bioshock would never have went to the extreme lengths that they did if games weren't being stolen on the scale that they are now. Believe me when I say, they are not looking at countries like Mexico; where the estimates are that 94% of games are pirated. They are looking at the North American market and markets like this that have an alarming amount of piracy. I know you know all of this and I know that it's a tough subject to discuss in your podcasts but maybe it's time; before you guys are reviewing xbox games and benchmarking games on the Playstation.

Just because you don't like that the jeweler put up metal bars on the window doesn't give you the right to steal the necklace that you want. For all you guys that claim DRM is what's "pushing" you into piracy, all I can say is BULLS$^&. If there where no DRM the vast majority of you would be stealing your games anyways...I'm sure that you'd find some other reason to blame you cheap ass ways on.
Quote:
Ever had the pleasure of dealing with StarForce on your PC?
You probably don't even know what that is, so look it up.
I know all about StarForce and (I don't want to sound petty but) apparently more than you do. What I said was that I have never had any issues with DRM, I have never had it effect my gaming experience. I buy a lot of games and I buy the ones that I know I want to play. I use some serious software that needs all of the juice that the computer I built can offer, and stability is of the utmost importance. I keep my system over clocked, I benchmark it on a regular basis and I make sure that I get the most out of my gaming experience. I even reinstall windows on my computers about every 6 months to a year.

I support the industry that I love, those of you who pirate don't; you just steal. You need to ask yourself this -- if you don't like a product, why steal it? DRM is part of that product. What makes games different? Why can't you steal that leather coat with the chain on it that prevents you from trying it on first?

You guys are single handily killing the industry that we've grown to love.

I'm sorry, I know I can sound mellow dramatic...but you guys are hunting the species dead.
February 17, 2008 5:59:55 AM

I'm not against TH for their stance on piracy. I'm just disappointed that they didn't take the opportunity to discuss piracy and educate those that need it. This issue has never been more important.
February 17, 2008 9:12:42 AM

i know that taking a game for a "test drive" by downloading, and then only buying the game if its worth the money is illegal - but the difference with other products compared to computer games is that you can always see what you are buying - the only place to look on the internet is review sites, and those are not exactly... trustworthy (cough cough GAMESPOT cough cough). Whilst if you are buying a jacket, you can see what it looks like, and the feeling of the materials beforehand, with most cars you can take a test drive, but computer games? As soon as you break the cellafane wrapper, you are screwed if its a pile of crap, and so yes, i will continue to break the law to test games, but if a game is decent, and isn't just a con, I will later buy it - to support the industry when they make a good game

(frankly, if all game developers start producing crap like EA seems to love, the PC gaming industry deserves to die - i hope it doesn't, but if...)
February 17, 2008 12:05:35 PM

I'm with spuddy here.

Say what you will, I don't really care what any of you think I do or don't, but what I do know is that any game I deem worthy I definitely get once I have the money.

I WANT to support the GOOD games.
Hell, I was even going to buy Bioshock at launch, had it not been for the whole DRM fiasco.
I had been waiting for the game for more than a year, and when it finally came out, that was what we got! Thank you 2K!

I already bought the Orange Box, ET:QW, Crysis and the Witcher (yes, even after I had already downloaded and played them all to death).

I'm sure there will be more on the list this year, as well.

February 17, 2008 2:20:37 PM

Quote:
I already bought the Orange Box, ET:QW, Crysis and the Witcher (yes, even after I had already downloaded and played them all to death).

I don't want to be harsh because I think when it comes to piracy of intellectual property the waters are often murky and DRM more or less just stirs them up even more. But come on all the games that you listed with the exception of The Orange Box had demos available so "downloading to try" is as Rob says BS. Most major new titles are offering some sort of demo now so that is a pretty poor excuse.
February 17, 2008 7:51:39 PM

spuddyt said:
As soon as you break the cellafane wrapper, you are screwed if its a pile of crap, and so yes, i will continue to break the law to test games, but if a game is decent, and isn't just a con, I will later buy it - to support the industry when they make a good game


bash007 said:

I WANT to support the GOOD games.


As sympathetic as you may think this looks, it's a load of crap. When go to see a movie, are you going to ask your money back when the movie sucks? I don't think so.. If you read a good book from the library, you're going to buy it afterwards to support GOOD books? I don't think so...

In addition to that, tastes are different, and you are walking a slippery slope if you only want to pay for something that's GOOD after the fact. I'm sure your judgement of what is GOOD and what sucks is affected by such an attitude...it is not surprising to see that most people that follow your credo are VERY critical of what they think is GOOD (in fact they are very careful to part with their money regardless of game quality in my opinion)

You are paying for the game experience (good or bad) and you'll be more careful if you've been burned by a particular developer. That's how capitalism in the entertainment industry works. Don't like it? Don't play.
February 17, 2008 8:19:35 PM

I love how facelifter thinks (in one of his posts) that his job gave him some special insight into this. Being a manager at the retail level gives you an insight into that and only that. Do you really think that everyone who had problems with your game came back to you? I've had problems with numerous products valued under $100 where I didn't bother to return the product, and I would never, ever think of asking for technical support at a store that sells video games. Why waste my time?

I could just as easily claim that my years of experience playing games and my years of professional experiences in the IT field troubleshooting computer problems (I have had numerous jobs in the IT field, the most pertinent of which saw me in charge of roughly 300 computers and a few of our servers at a university, doing just about *everything* from training and purchasing equipment to troubleshooting and building and so on) gives me more insight into the problem than your average Joe.
I don't because I know that everyone has a a useful perspective, and ultimately if customers don't like DRM that matters, period. And we don't. None of us like switching CDs to play different games ... what a joke that is. Who doesn't have a CD burner? I've yet to meet a game I couldn't find a way to make a copy of, though I haven't tried to copy every game (some games sucked so much that I didn't care if the original CD became useless). One thing is certain - there is no game out there that cannot be downloaded, DRM free. So the pirates won that battle, and the only losers here are the game producers, who lose money due to piracy, and the legitmate customers, who have to deal with annoyances due to DRM.

I purchased BioShock the day it came out. I was too busy to play it for a few days, so by the time I got around to it the **** had hit the fan. I became so disgusted by the idea that this company had installed a rootkit like device on my computer that I didn't play the game. I contemplated never buying a game from that developer again. I contemplated reformatting my computer and downloading a pirated copy without the DRM that could destabilize my computer or worse (remember sony's music cds and the security holes they left?). In the end, I still played and enjoyed the game, but I felt betrayed. You may argue that the DRM doesn't harm anything, but it's impossible with things of this nature (things that attempt to subvert the way the OS operates on a fundamental level, things that run in the background as hidden processes) to rule out the possibility of unhealthy interactions between multiple such programs. For some people, problems did arise. And to what end? Did it stop piracy? No. I say that anyone who expects DRM to do anymore than delay the release date of a pirate version by a day or two is an idiot who should stop spreading ignorance. The only people affected by DRM are legitimate customers, PERIOD. The pirates just do not care.

Now, when a DRM policy BENEFITS the customer, that's a different matter. Steam is a good example. Sure, I may lose my games someday, but only if developers all try to launch their own version of Steam. If everyone just uses one or two services like this, customers will remain fairly safe. We'll also get to play our games without putting CDs into trays, without worrying about making backup copies, etc. Updates are made easier, too. Steam has my vote, though by including Starforce in the Steam version of Bioshock was obviously a retarded move.
February 18, 2008 1:44:24 AM

FaceLifter... Just because people here are against forms of DRM, does not make them the pirates that you insinuate they are... I buy my own games, and truth be told I am more than happy when developers release the patches that remove secure rom. It is a pain in the arse, and I dont think that the issue is easily justified.

The only reason developers release games with DRM and the knowledge that it will be broken, is that they hope that during the time that the hackers are working out the cracks, enough people will buy the game out of impatience to play.
Now this idea I think, like others here, is misguided. A lot of games without any form of DRM (Oblivion for one) Have sold incredibly well and made the developers a lot of money. Yes there will always be piracy, but the only people to feel the effects of DRM are the original customers and that seems rather counter productive.

A little trust in the gaming audience will go a long way..

February 18, 2008 3:33:51 AM

Completely agree with your posts on DRM, dreadhead and mattc, except for some minor details (BioShock is not proteced by Starforce, it is SecuROM)

dreadhead said:
A little trust in the gaming audience will go a long way..


Let's not put our hope in trust too much, it is pretty obvious that there's lots of people around that do not care for it, and a much larger population is susceptible to getting games for free instead of paying for it if it is available for free.

It is also about common business sense. See what is happening in the music industry where people that download a lot of "free" music (which is not illegal in all countries btw as opposed to downloading games which is illegal everywhere) also start to increase spendings in music.

I agree with the point made on Steam as well, people don't care about DRM put into Steam because enough value is added for legit customers and idiotic things like needing a CD in a drive, are eliminated.
February 18, 2008 7:28:33 AM

Just because it is easier to steal than to earn a living, does it make it morally right to steal?

Food for thought.

I often say to people: go for piracy if you are willing to work for free. It is only fair. Otherwise, go alternative. Play boardgames instead.
February 20, 2008 5:31:18 PM

I never made this post thinking that I was going to battle the DRM issue. Some of you are attacking me like I'm defending DRM. I know that some people use DRM as an excuse and for the same reason some hackers feel the need to release these games, but the fact remains that the vast majority of PC gamers that download games are only doing it to steal. I agree that DRM is distasteful - what I don't agree with is stealing because of it. I believe there are far more powerful ways to influence the publisher than by stealing it. If DRM is part of the product then don't buy that product, send the publisher a letter but don't steal it.

Here's a more intellegent way to battle the issue of DRM. First of all, you can return any pc game that comes with software that you weren't made aware of at the time of purchase, all you have to do is talk to the manager. In other words, if you buy a game and then find out that the publisher has installed software that you were not made aware of, and I mean, is not explicitly written on the box. Then you will always be able to return it. You may not get the part-timer or even the manager to allow the return but you will get the district or regional manager to allow it, 100% of the time. Just make sure that you some information from the internet explaining the software you are talking about. If thousands of people did this then a real message would be sent. The retailers would start to pressure the publishers to stop using DRM. I've seen retailers pressure publishers into recalling product for similar issues. This would be the quickest way to kill DRM.

The way some of you are talking about battling DRM now has no rational reasoning behind it. It's like one country bombing another because they got bombed for getting bombed, think about it.

This is the biggest issue PC gaming will ever have to face with, and I wish more of you would stand up for it.
February 20, 2008 5:48:08 PM

FaceLifter,
You made a post saying that you don't agree with THG's attitude on game piracy. That attitude/position is that piracy is no right and people shouldn't do it, but that DRM is almost as bad and not the answer. So to say that you disagree with that would either mean that you think piracy is good (when I first read the title of your post I thought thats what you meant) or that you think DRM is a legit way to battle piracy.
February 20, 2008 5:50:26 PM

Quote:
I love how facelifter thinks (in one of his posts) that his job gave him some special insight into this.
Quote:
I could just as easily claim that my years of experience playing games and my years of professional experiences in the IT field troubleshooting computer problems (I have had numerous jobs in the IT field, the most pertinent of which saw me in charge of roughly 300 computers and a few of our servers at a university, doing just about *everything* from training and purchasing equipment to troubleshooting and building and so on) gives me more insight into the problem than your average Joe.
I was only trying to give some insight into the return rate of PC games at the biggest games retailer in North America. I'm sure that having managed multiple stores and districts in this company I would have more insight into the issue of PC game returns than the average person. What really cracks me up is how you go on to write a whole paragraph on why you have more insight than we do. Like your the only one in the IT industry that plays games.

Quote:
So the pirates won that battle, and the only losers here are the game producers, who lose money due to piracy, and the legitmate customers, who have to deal with annoyances due to DRM.
You obviously haven't gotten any more insight from your IT job on this issue. The only losers are not the legit consumers, it all of us, because more and more publishers are turning down PC games in favour of console games. If this keeps up then the majority of PC games releases will be indy games and that will not be a victory at all. That will mean that everyone will lose!

You did make a good point about Steam however.
February 20, 2008 5:52:42 PM

Quote:
You made a post saying that you don't agree with THG's attitude on game piracy. That attitude/position is that piracy is no right and people shouldn't do it, but that DRM is almost as bad and not the answer. So to say that you disagree with that would either mean that you think piracy is good (when I first read the title of your post I thought thats what you meant) or that you think DRM is a legit way to battle piracy.

You're right, I could have worded it better. But I have to say, this has turned into quite the thread!!
February 20, 2008 6:14:39 PM

I think your title and initial post gave people the impression that you're not really in touch with the THG's attitude on piracy(both editors/staff and members). If you read through enough post you'll notice that almost everytime people talk about pirating software they get slammed down. For example I recall one thread where somebody was asking for help getting a game to run. Eventually he posted a screen shot that showed it to be a pirated version. Everybody refused to offer any more help after that and began to bash him.
February 20, 2008 6:16:13 PM

Sorry, rather than saying I could have worded it better. I should have said that I could have put more thought into it. But my opinion hasn't changed. I still feel that TH needs to put more emphasis on this topic. As far as I can see their attitude not position, as these are two different things, is that they would rather just comment on it and not take a stance. I understand what their position is but I think they need to voice it more. When they talk about DRM they have a responsibility to discuss the other side of the issue. It's unfair to discuss the impact of DRM without discussing the impact that piracy has.
February 20, 2008 6:23:37 PM

Why would that person think this is a good place to post looking for help? Better yet, how many people watch their podcast or view the main site without ever coming to the forums? I applaud them for taking a stance and as I said in an earlier post I apologize for not reading more of their posts on the topic. I have to say though, I was trying to stir the pot with my thread post. TH is in a really good position to educate people on this issue, and seeing how important an issue it is I feel that they need to.
February 20, 2008 6:37:50 PM

I think that the issue of whether piracy is good or bad or whether people should do it or not is pretty much a non-issue. A few years ago, around the time of Napster, it was more of a debatible issue but today not so much. I think the topic that should be focussed on is 'how do we battle piracy without killing the honest customer?'. I don't think the members of THG need to be educated in how piracy is bad.
February 20, 2008 7:31:50 PM

mcneillm said:

Anyone who bought Sin Episode 1 will know how a company can just disappear off the face of the earth.



Lol, my friend worked on SIN Episodes as a concept and 3d artist. He moved all the way to Dallas TX from chicago to work for them and about a year and a half later the company croaked. It was cool getting to see game stuff before it came out though and seeing all the stuff he modelled and textured. I still have a bunch of concept art and screen shots he emailed me. He's pretty disappointed because they got taken over by a company that does Yahoo games type of stuff, simple puzzle games etc. So he isn't too happy with that. Going from designing cool character models, concepts to glorified pong and tetris clones.
February 20, 2008 7:40:00 PM

But yes, upon the death of a company the whole internet check thing worrys me. The limited number of installs worrys me (I reformat my PC's once a year). I just think there has got to be some other way to combat piracy then basically giving the legal consumer a product with limited control. This isnt an arcade, i buy a game I buy it 100 percent mine forever, not I buy it for a few installs then i have to buy another one. Like as mentioned before, pirates can find ways around the protections, only people affected are legal users. Im gonna have a field day when eventually switching to vista, isnt there a whole buncha BS involved with re installing that OS?
February 20, 2008 10:56:56 PM

so basically wat the OP is saying is all review companies etc. should put out a positive opinion on DRM, just because......yeah OK.
February 21, 2008 12:33:00 AM

FaceLifter said:
Those of you who download games should know one thing: you will never enjoy a downloaded game as much as you would if you'd purchased it.


That's kind of not true at all, actually...

February 21, 2008 4:21:20 AM

honestly, drm=a gay hindrance. they might as well just drop drm, because it's cracked within a week of release anyway. jacking up prices etc. There's no point really. Just give the game out with ye old cd key. and block the server without the key. for single player, good luck. I have downloaded a few games, but in the past 4 or so years i've never played them through, just enough to demo the full version really, I buy games i like. I had a downloaded version of nwn1, i liked it after the first 20 minutes or so, so i went and bought the platinum version, easy as that. half life 2, played part of the first level to test it on hardware and what not, see if i liked it, ended up not working right with my controller and what not (didn't run well on hardware at the time), So my brother went and got it for a console cuz he thought it was good, i haven't played it since then though, want to get it on pc. :-p
there are a lot of honest people out there, and piracy is an issue... however i personally AM more likely to buy a game if i can test it out, hence why I'm no longer playing consoles... they just have to short a shelf life, and are harder to sell for decent value used than a pc is. another example, diablo 1, way back when. I owned the full copy. and didn't have an internet connection, i figured out how to modify my registry so i didn't need the cd after install because my cd got scratched to hell... but i ended up reformatting, and rather than just burn a copy of my friends, i just bought a new one. 2 copies of diablo 1. I could have cracked diablo 2 as well (though admitedly not on my own) but i decided to go buy it because it was awesome. expansion pack too. i mean, It's a never ending cycle with any time of media... even with the printing of books... Thankfully the steam service seems to be streamlining everything quite nicely and will possibly be the savior of all the headaches, and in my opinion, is the first giant in the new world of how games are distributed and owned... and to reiterate a resounding truth. drm= a pain in the arse. maybe fingerprint readers could be the final solution.
there, that's my 2 cents.
February 21, 2008 6:07:11 AM

robwright said:
And I think most folks that claim they download games to try them out before they buy them are full of crap.


Now, now, Rob. I appreciate your viewpoints and most of the time I agree with what you say in your videos. However, you shouldn't be making blanketing statements like this. True, there are some that download and never pay for games. Chances are though, that these are people that wouldn't buy games regardless of whether they could pirate them or not. I for one, will download a game that I know little about and if I deem the game worthy, then I'll buy it. This is because I have a limited budget and can't afford to be blowing money on every game with a cool cover that comes out. Game demos don't paint a good picture for the quality of games, either. If I had to choose whether to buy CoD4 based on the demo, I would have never bought it. It was only because I downloaded and played it first that I decided to buy it. In the past year I've probably bought 20 or so PC titles and there are plenty more like me out there.

In summary, its not nice to give out blanketing statements saying that people are like this because they do that. Not everyone is the same as you nor does everyone have the same budget that you have for buying games. If we are buying games then you should take our word for it and respect that at least we are doing our part to support the gaming industry, unlike the millions that ONLY pirate and never go out and buy games.
February 21, 2008 8:05:28 AM

Intrusive copyright protection sucks.

As for not enjoying games as much if you download them as if you pay for them that's utter BS.

I've been buying PC games since my Spectrum ZX in the late 80's. Nothing and I repeat NOTHING is worse than buying a buggy and bad game. Some games I used to buy back then didn't even load and they weren't cheap either!

So take your copyright protection talk elsewhere.

I don't mind paying for a good game but the vast majority of games aren't worth buying.

If they priced games according to how good they are then things would be different. But paying the same for a great game as for a bad game makes no sense. It's like if you could buy a Ferrari for the same price as a Ford. Makes no sense.
February 21, 2008 8:40:43 AM

To the last couple of posters:

It is your prerogative to say that you only want to buy games that you've been able to test. It is the reason why many developers make demo's. It is not your right, and in fact it is against the law to download an illegal copy of the full game and use that to test.

Just don't play it at all, and only buy games that have demo's that allow you to test. A lot of people are doing that already, which is why you see more and more demo's coming out.

I fully agree with anyone complaining about invasive copyright protection measures and DRM. I am not against DRM by definition, I just do not want it to screw up my system and as a legit customer I do not want to be hampered by it in any way. But no way you can use this as an excuse to download and play illegal copies.

I'm not sure if this a generation thing or not but I find the lack of self-constraint that a lot of people exhibit (yes, also on these forums) remarkable. Just don't play if you don't like, how else is the capitalist system going to work properly without abusing legitimate customers?
February 21, 2008 3:25:27 PM

Ok, I'll put my .01 in. I'm not a computer expert (it took me 2 days to build my home PC and make it work) and for the most part I only play 2 FPS games on my PC. I am, in other words, your average consumer of PC video games.
1) I have no idea what DRM is and why it is a problem. I have loaded many games (I have kids) on my PC and not run into any problems. If it is some sort of spy ware then I would obviously be against it but at this point what's one more peace of spyware ( I use google desktop) as long as it does not effect my PC's performance.
2) There is really no justification for pirating. You either go to the store and pay or pay to download a game or it is stealing. Yes, the game may suck but ultimately it is my responsibility to do the research prior to buying anything. Also, I have no idea nor do I care how games are made so in order for me to continue playng games someone has to make them. I doubt any developers want to work for free.
3) I really do not care if I have to insert a CD prior to playing. It takes about 10 seconds. Yes, it can be a pain but why let something like that ruin your gaming experience. And yes, most of the people I regularly play online with think it is funny that I still use the CD.

and lastly

4) I have played BF2 for (when did it come out?) awhile and never lost or ruined a disk. I do have 2 but that was so my son could play at the same time. Putting limitations on the number of times a game is loaded should not be a problem. My anti-virus software allows 3 installs and that seemed very reasonable to me. I know (or at least read) that some of you like to reinstall windows etc. but is it really necessary? Remember, I am not an expert or enthusiast. I have run my Dell for 3 years and never experienced an OS issue or computer slow down so I cannot imagine why I would go through the trouble to periodically reinstall everything .

I guess this all seems really pretty simple. The publishers should just let the games run without any OS manipulation or CD's in the drives. The consumer needs to realize that - like it or not - limited installs, key verification etc are the things that protect the publishers/developers investments. They are in this to make money which I have always assumed was an understood and appreciated concept, maybe not.

Let's face it, the people who pirate games and/or applications are going to find a way to do it no matter what the developers do and despite what they say they are not going to buy the games after they "try" them. Regardless of anything else, the people who pirate will find a reason to continue justifying it.
February 21, 2008 4:08:14 PM

Quote:
The consumer needs to realize that - like it or not - limited installs, key verification etc are the things that protect the publishers/developers investments. They are in this to make money which I have always assumed was an understood and appreciated concept, maybe not.


The problem is that these measures do not work at all and if anything make the problem worse. There isn't one example of a DRM protected game that hasn't been cracked. I really think that these measures against piracy are a lazy, yet costly way of going about it. Look at what MMOs (specifically WoW) have been able to do without DRM; Peolpe not only buy these games in record numbers but then pay a monthly subscription on top of that. So I think publishers could come up with a more positive method of encouraging users to buy games legally.
February 21, 2008 5:06:33 PM

Face Lifter works for MSSKS (MSFT), he doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground
February 21, 2008 5:31:31 PM

BigMac said:
To the last couple of posters:

It is your prerogative to say that you only want to buy games that you've been able to test. It is the reason why many developers make demo's. It is not your right, and in fact it is against the law to download an illegal copy of the full game and use that to test.

Just don't play it at all, and only buy games that have demo's that allow you to test. A lot of people are doing that already, which is why you see more and more demo's coming out.

I fully agree with anyone complaining about invasive copyright protection measures and DRM. I am not against DRM by definition, I just do not want it to screw up my system and as a legit customer I do not want to be hampered by it in any way. But no way you can use this as an excuse to download and play illegal copies.

I'm not sure if this a generation thing or not but I find the lack of self-constraint that a lot of people exhibit (yes, also on these forums) remarkable. Just don't play if you don't like, how else is the capitalist system going to work properly without abusing legitimate customers?


Im like the posters above this post, i will download the full game to try before i go out and buy the full game...

the biggest problems with demos for me is that im on a20MB cable internet and if i want a demo i have to download it from Fileplanet that caps me to 20Kbps and it takes a few hours to get a demo.... i use news groups to download my full games and i get full 2000Kbps and it takes about 40 min to download the full game rather than the few hours it would take to download the demo of some sh*t website like fileplanet.
February 21, 2008 6:51:57 PM

Quote:
Face Lifter works for MSSKS (MSFT), he doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground
I'm sure those of you opposed to my view are proud to have this guy on your side....
February 21, 2008 7:48:37 PM

I have to say...I'm somewhat regretful I made this post about THG, now I wish I made it strictly about piracy!!

I don't care whether you buy games or not, I care whether you steal them. Some of you seem to really take it personally that I feel piracy is a bad thing...I'm surprised that while some of you attack my opinion on piracy none of you have tried to claim that it isn't hurting the industry, which just adds fuel to argument that you guys don't give a #$%$ and that's the real reason why you steal...
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