/ Sign-up
Your question

Can we stop complaining about game security?

  • PC gaming
  • Games
  • Video Games
Last response: in PC Gaming
May 7, 2008 8:08:55 PM

I hate to beat a dead horse, but I hate seeing all these posts decrying game companies for trying to make some money on their products. It seems that the PC gaming community as a whole is unable to restrain itself sufficiently from mass piracy, stealing millions in profits from gaming companies that are starting to give up on the platform. If a bit of responsible drm is needed to help keep PC gamin viable, then why are so many people against it?

Look - I'm not for DRM that freezes computers or allows companies to steal information, but in this day and age is it really so horrible if a game checks in every 10 days to make sure its legal? In fact, it seems to me that an internet authorization might be the best way to restrict piracy without draconian PC locks, but maybe I'm used to it since I've played WoW in the past.

Regardless, people need to stop feeling that they are entitled to free games. Welcome to capitalism guys: if you can't afford to pay for it, then you don't get to play it. Lets be responsible and stop acting like children who foam at the mouth every time a publisher wants to make some cash. Piracy is theft and if we want to keep playing we're going to have to accept a few security cameras here and there.


More about : stop complaining game security

May 7, 2008 8:23:16 PM

justskot said:
If a bit of responsible drm is needed to help keep PC gamin viable, then why are so many people against it?

Few, if any people are complaining about "a bit of responsible drm", but are really more concerned with the ever increasing invasiveness of security measures that ultimately only punish the loyal customers. In reference to the latest ME security:

Someone from the Mass Effect community forums puts it better than I could:
I think so too, though my opinion would be different if I thought I'd be without broadband for longer than 10 days in the near future. However, it appears to have hit a nerve with a whole lot of people. I am guessing there are two things going on here.

First, this makes what is going on explicit. Nearly all copy protection programs have required you to constantly prove that you are not a thief, but this idea has never been so far out in the open. I bet most people do not know about all of the filth these programs install and the lengths they go to in order to verify what is installed on your system -- you'd only know if you ran afoul of them or were interested in technology. This system explicitly tells you that you are not trusted to be honest and it will phone home to report on you every 10 days.

Second, this system involves giving up control and thus requires trust. With a CD check or whatever, as long as I have the CD I can do anything I want (within reason) with the program. If I install it on both my desktop and my laptop and then a year later replace them both, the game will not care -- it will be just as happy to install as it was the first time. With this system, I have to trust EA to make authentication painless.

Worse, I have to trust them to either keep the servers up for as long as I want to play the game or issue a patch that gets rid of the check. The fear here is not unfounded. For example, Microsoft, which had a similar scheme (minus the 10 day checks) for its music service, has recently decided that they're no longer supporting it and if you've bought music from them, you're out of luck:

Customers who have purchased music from Microsoft's now-defunct MSN Music store are now facing a decision they never anticipated making: commit to which computers (and OS) they want to authorize forever, or give up access to the music they paid for. Why? Because Microsoft has decided that it's done supporting the service and will be turning off the MSN Music license servers by the end of this summer.
Click Here .

So the question is: do I trust BioWare and EA? Well, I certainly trust BioWare. I've been on these forums for more than 6 years and I've interacted with quite a few of them for a while. If BioWare says that they will issue a patch, then I believe that to be true... to the best of their knowledge (and therein lies the rub).

Unfortunately, BioWare does not have the last say on this matter -- that belongs to EA. Do I trust EA? Absolutely not. It's a multi-billion dollar transnational corporation; the only thing I trust them to do is go after whatever the people in charge believe to be most profitable at the given time. However, in this case I do not believe they have the power to cheat me, so I don't really mind.

Welcome to capitalism indeed. Piss off customers with intrusive security, and they vote with their wallets.

The "complaining" you're so tired of is the sound of otherwise loyal customers trying to persuade a company they'd otherwise support to change their ways before turning away and no longer supporting them.

May 7, 2008 9:45:45 PM

justskot said:
I hate to beat a dead horse, but I hate seeing all these posts decrying game companies for trying to make some money on their products. It seems that the PC gaming community as a whole is unable to restrain itself sufficiently from mass piracy, stealing millions in profits from gaming companies that are starting to give up on the platform. If a bit of responsible drm is needed to help keep PC gamin viable, then why are so many people against it?

Look - I'm not for DRM that freezes computers or allows companies to steal information, but in this day and age is it really so horrible if a game checks in every 10 days to make sure its legal? In fact, it seems to me that an internet authorization might be the best way to restrict piracy without draconian PC locks, but maybe I'm used to it since I've played WoW in the past.

Regardless, people need to stop feeling that they are entitled to free games. Welcome to capitalism guys: if you can't afford to pay for it, then you don't get to play it. Lets be responsible and stop acting like children who foam at the mouth every time a publisher wants to make some cash. Piracy is theft and if we want to keep playing we're going to have to accept a few security cameras here and there.


If you bothered to listen to the arguments and read the posts you would find that the objection to DRM is the opposite of wanting something for nothing. To be frank, if I wanted to download my games for free I would encourage DRM because nothing and I mean nothing encourages piracy like draconian security techniques that never work.

Honest customers are actively repulsed by the idea and turn into pirates.

Is it so hard for you to imagine any of the many scenarios in which the ME PC DRM could make it more difficult to play the game? I do not object so much to the mild mannered tame DRM of yesteryear. CD Key validation and requiring a CD be in the drive without breaking the computer are acceptable if mildly irritating.

What Bioshock and ME's DRM do go way beyond reasonable. The best options are simply Steam or Stardock. Both are very good options and have been shown to work wonders at preventing piracy. Why then would publishers use any publicly despised DRM systems to secure their game? It boggles the mind and saddens the heart.
Related resources
May 8, 2008 5:35:20 AM

Being the inquizitive type, check the guys profile that started this thread, he joined to post his message, and no E-Mail address, I wonder who he is working for, as for the piracy, we vote with our wallet, as for the money lost, ID seems to be doing fine, and the few others that have have no DRM but a GOOD game are doing well, the real losers are the ones that have a horrid game and make the box look god hoping that some unsuspecting fool will buy their piece of crap, enter the whinner
May 8, 2008 8:51:30 AM

alot of people are missing the picture with this new DRM, and that is what companies are hoping for....

can anyone tell me what information will be sent out?

we know it sends out hardware info...

if im an average joe, and buy this game then the game transmits my wireless/network card or mac/ip address info, allong with my processor, ram, HDD, soundcards etc, this is all really usefull info for a hacker to have... because then they can look up the make/model and look for known exploits.
May 8, 2008 11:33:04 AM

Could that information be intercepted, yes, but secure 128bit connections are hard to crack

Which begs the question... are they even using that? Probably not.

It wouldn't surprise me if they are only using ipsec authentication headers or similar technology to cover their interests and that is it.
May 8, 2008 11:51:30 AM

I don't know what all the new and different security measures are that are being referred to here but I have ceased to buy games that require steam activation because it's too much of a hassle. If what you're all referring to is true with a revolving 10 day check i'd have to get a cracked version of the game.

I'm a contractor and travel alot with my trusty laptop for work and still require my gaming fixes. I don't have a mobile internet connection and have no intention of going to wi-fi hotspots just so my game can check i'm being honest. In that respect it would actually drive me to go from being an honest, respectable, law abiding game purchaser to having to downloading (when I can) a ripped, cracked version so I can actually play it.

Seems counter productive in that respect. Although i'm sure i only represent a very small portion of affected users.
May 8, 2008 11:59:54 AM

There are a lot of customers who foresee similar situations and as such are boycotting any games protected in this way.

Myself included.

I really REALLY wanted to buy Spore too.
May 8, 2008 12:26:50 PM

My real problem with piracy is that I can see what's going to happen. If people keep cracking the DRM's that company are spending lots of money on.

Game companies will stop selling games on disc. The only way you will be able to get game is on a pay to play type service. Games like WoW where you have to pay every month to play will start to become the norm. I bet a lot of game companies have seen the success of WoW and the amount of users it has.

Rather than spending loads of money on DRM's game companies will use that money to setup online only game sites. I personally don't want to have money taken from my credit card every month.
May 8, 2008 12:59:31 PM

No, we can't.

Next topic.
May 9, 2008 1:24:48 PM

Lol yeah and the fact that a million pounds can be spent on DRM, then some dude in a basement will hack it like a week later for free, and then make it very easy for anyone to play DRM free.
May 9, 2008 1:50:48 PM

Well for one I don't mind game security. But its when they go too far as to take your personal info and creat DRMs that can destroy your Windows installation ( ahem, Sony this means you....).

I don't think its right for a DRM to act like a rootkit and then potentially open more holes in your PC security. And they truly have no right to see what is on your PC.

Personally I think the best way is to use a program like Steam. It registers the game to your username and then bam you are set. And if you ever lose the CD you can redownload it. But that would be the easier and smarter thing to do. Not to mention it would help stop piracy and promote sales since people wouldn't have to worry about crappy DRM.
May 9, 2008 11:18:10 PM

If there's a game I really want to play, I buy it. I want to support the industry, not steal from it. But do you know who taught me how to pirate games? The game publishers themselves. One day I Google searched for a way to install a game using Starforce without installing Starforce, and it broadened my horizons with the knowledge of no-CD cracks and bit torrents. Kind of ironic if you ask me, and absolutely true. I'm sure plenty of others out there had a similar experience who now pirate anything and everything.
May 10, 2008 12:31:15 AM

What gets me is if I buy a game, and it's having to sit there and check if it's the right disc or not. New system and it's slowing down my computer making my newer pc slow. Not acceptable. I have gone online in cases like that and just found cracks for games. How many people are driven to do things like that? If a game starts phoning home on me, forget that, why would I buy it? That's intrusive and there is no justification in any way shape or form. I hope ANY company that starts checking every 10 days to make sure your games are legit goes out of business. I don't care if they make the best games. When your breaching access into my personal computer to double check on me, not acceptable.

If someone wants into my network, they are going through my firewall/router, plus my software firewall. I like the fact with Firewalls like PC tools and Zonealarm you have to tell it to allow many things in or out.
May 10, 2008 2:16:57 AM

The worst DRM is the kind where you aren't actually buying the game, but rather you're renting it. Limited activations is just that - $50 for a rental.

For single player games, I also prefer to shut off my anti-virus/anti-spyware programs so they don't slow down the game. But before I do that, I also turn off my internet connection just to be safe. Which, of course, leads to the second worst DRM - the kind that requires an internet connection to always validate I'm using an actual copy.

And, as others have mentioned, what makes it more irritating is the fact that all of these copy protections have been circumvented in the pirated versions that are available online.
November 5, 2008 11:56:43 PM

I'll complain, no matter what the reason a game or program causes problems with my system like losing access to an optical drive, forcing reimaging/reformatting.

People who want FREE games don't need to worry about DRM, they won't be buying the version with the DRM, they just download the cracked/ripped version. It's only the paying customer that gets treated like a criminal.

They can keep their crappy software, even if it comes with a game I might've otherwise liked.
November 6, 2008 5:22:48 AM

And that's what it comes down to.

DRM affects legit users negatively.

DRM does not affect pirates.

Therefore, DRM fails.
November 6, 2008 9:56:21 AM

Any boycotting that anyone does isn't worth a sod currently because its not on nearly large enough a scale.

Get one million people to boycott a game style, then you'll make ripples - but any quantity in the thousands isn't going to change their minds.
November 10, 2008 7:45:43 AM

Just buy the game and get a nocd. In my opinion that's not morally wrong.
And keep the original executable for future patching.
November 11, 2008 2:59:28 AM

Transsive said:
Just buy the game and get a nocd. In my opinion that's not morally wrong.
And keep the original executable for future patching.

We shouldn't have to go to such measures.
November 11, 2008 3:53:41 AM


The title and concept of this thread is dangerous. This kind of approach to anything is dangerous. People fought and died to have choice in this world in many of these big industrialized nations you're posting on the internet from. When you give up choice and just blindly allow, accept and swallow and ultimately support something instead of demanding better quality, less limitation, and essentially more choice, you're just supporting a market, a life style, of "I'll take what I'm given, go ahead and take advantage of me. I clearly don't matter. Nor do any of you."

We're consumers. These are products. Don't buy crap. Demand quality. If they don't respond, they're out of jobs. When things get too big that they think they can just force things on their customers, their clients, that's when you get total revolt and striking.

The gaming market is no different than say, the airline market. Don't just blindly accept B.S. It's a product that is NOT ESSENTIAL TO YOUR LIFE. You're paying for it. It's totally recreational. Why the hell would you accept something that is not what you want, just because you had no choice and so you don't care? Demand that the choice be there. If they don't want to sell what you want, then don't buy. And if everyone is not liking what's being offered, that service is dead, those poor saps can move along and perhaps be sensitive enough to their actual market and potential clients rather than ONLY listening to their stupid share holders who know NOTHING about it other than their cut.

November 11, 2008 5:12:54 AM

I can understand the point of activations, but at the same time, they can be intrusive. Why should consumers be treated as criminals?

Wouldn't companies be better served to make these games without spending money on DRM? Sell them for 10-20 bucks each, so they are more affordable and then if you want to play online, you get charged like 1-3 dollars a month until you cancel. That way it's more affordable for everyone, and if the game is actually good, they make more money from online play and mods that they could produce and charge something for. Vs if their games stunk, they probably would have less into the game without the DRM, and could try making another game.

But what is going to happen when a company goes belly up, but you have to activate their products? Then honest people become "pirates" because they'd have to find a workaround to make their legally purchased game work.
November 11, 2008 7:13:52 AM

I'm going to go with just letting the market decide on the price of games. If publishers are happy with their number of sales vs profit per sale ratio then we can hope that they put a lot of thought into what it should be and possibly research. If not then someone will eventually come along with a better solution and out bid them.

The DRM issue is my larger concern largely because the majority of customers are blissfully unaware of it and it will come back and bite them in the butt some time down the road. This prevents the market from properly responding to the problem and the crap doesn't even stop piracy any better than basic protection methods did.
November 11, 2008 2:35:03 PM

Having bought Far Cry 2 on release, I was very disappointed to install the game and then to find that it just wouldn't activate. I looked through the Far Cry 2 official forums and found numerous threads with people complaining that they couldn't activate the game. I found out the UK activation servers were down for most of the day, what a shambles! To release a Game and then not to have the activation servers running :sarcastic: 

I can understand why the game industry wants to stop people pirating their games, but these security measures cause more problems for the legitimate buyers, than the pirates themselves. The pirates have already cracked these games, which shows the security measures that we are seeing more and more in games, just doesn't stop piracy! If they don't stop the pirates, then why the hell do they continue to put this rubbish in their games? :fou: 

I like the Steam idea, where you log into the software to play your game. Steam usually works reliable and I believe the game industry should move to this or something like this.

Do away with these Troublesome Security measures, that only cause issues for those of us who have spent our cash! :fou: 
November 11, 2008 3:26:39 PM

Alright lets look at what really goes on here with DRM and Games first let me tell you that i do download games i have nothing against it and i know it's wrong so deal with it ok one game in particular shows my meaning very well
that games is Bioshock i admit when it came out for pc i downloaded it and theni heard all this hoopla about the DRM and how many ppl had problems with it i am not a fan of DRM but the game is a great game that deserves me to buy a copy of it so i went out and paid 50 bux for the game as i don't mind paying for a game that's good.
So when i got home i uninstalled the Pirated copy of Bioshock and restarted my computer i put the DVD in the drive and proceeded to install the game it gets all done and wants to go online to Authenticate and get the EXE so i can play the game and i have no problem with it b/c i had as i said paid my 50 Bux and legally own the game well soemthing is wrong and it gives me no other option other than calling tech support and uninstalling the game files it had already installed .
I call the support line and they tell me i have to shut down go into Safemode with networking and install the game after they advise me to do other thigns such as disable my Firewall and AV witch im not doing at the time i was directly connected to the net No Router in front of me so i tell the support guy " You know i've downloaded and played the game already it's a great game that why i went and bought the game and maybe i should just keep the game box and disc on my shelf while i play the cracked game b/c it gives me no problems what so ever" he then tells me thats a bad idea b/c the game that i downloaded could have a virus or not work properly

Now this is a great Example of DRM NOT working at all i mean there are games that with out question i will buy and like Fallout 3 couldn't wait for that game and Bethesda got it right just like they got it right with oblivion come on over 4 Million units sold in the first week but DRM Rarely works even ME's doesn't work as i have a cracked copy of it i didn't really like the game so i uninstalled it and haven't played it now i would have been really pissed to pay 50 bux for the game then find out i really don't like it and have basicly no resale value or atleast not for 50 Bux

so in this regard DRM does not work and untill we go to something like a Subscription service where you pay 20 Bux a month and we have a library of games we can download play uninstall anything we want on any computer as long as we pay our 20 Bux a month and your only connected once on the network piracy will be a problom for game Devs
November 12, 2008 1:01:48 AM

I`ve figured out a way to play and install the game without the DRM, without stealing from the company.

I buy the game. I then go to a torrent site, and download a version without the DRM. Does that mean im a pirate? No, I payed my $50 dollars for the right to play the game. I`m just going about a different way of putting it onto my system.
November 12, 2008 9:33:31 AM

does that mean you are helping? NO..

cause you downloaded the game that is one more statistic that goes to the company as a LOST SALE... therefore helping the argument for DRM. think about it the company cant keep track of how many people bought the game and downloaded it, and that in my eyes is a massive problem, cause all statistics on the subject are incorrect.
November 12, 2008 9:44:57 AM

Plus buying the game means you agree to the drm.

It would be more reasonable to just download the game and send the money directly to the game developer.

But then again... it's a very complicated matter.
November 12, 2008 4:19:02 PM

There you go. Everyone that pirates and would buy the game, just send $40 to the developer. Ingenious!!!
November 12, 2008 7:56:56 PM

If the developer put up something on their website for that purpose I would consider doing it. As it is though sending them money is just going to confuse the hell out of their budgets and they might not even be able to accept the money due to how their business is structured and how they have contracts laid out with their publisher.
November 12, 2008 8:45:24 PM

If there's any question that this DRM exists to hurt the used game market, check out these comments on console gaming:

Capps: “We really need to make strides against the secondhand market”

Epic boss Mike Capps has told GI that secondhand game sales are a “huge” issue in the US, and he believes the American development industry will start making moves to combat it.

“I think DLC will be increasing in scope just because in the US we really need to make strides against the second-hand market,” he said.

Capps said that models involving restricting content to those who bought the retail product new are being mooted.

“The secondary market is a huge issue in the United States. Our primary retailer makes the majority of its money off of secondary sales, and so you’re starting to see games taking proactive steps toward that by… if you buy the retail version you get the unlock code,” he said.

“I’ve talked to some developers who are saying ‘If you want to fight the final boss you go online and pay USD 20, but if you bought the retail version you got it for free’. We don’t make any money when someone rents it, and we don’t make any money when someone buys it used - way more than twice as many people played Gears than bought it.”

"Secondhand game sales are a “huge” issue in the US." :lol:  Yes, God forbid anyone makes any money other than the game's publisher!
November 12, 2008 10:23:03 PM

rennervision said:
Yes, God forbid anyone makes any money other than the game's publisher!

Yeah, if it weren't for used games, specialized stores like Gamestop probably wouldn't exist.
November 12, 2008 11:14:21 PM

Abolishing the secondary market would be every publisher's preference.

I mean, when you buy a used Camaro, GM gets nothing. The same thing happens with games. Granted, a car's usually more expensive than a game, and it's a tangible product.

The question really has to be, what is it that you buy with a game. Is it a license to use their IP as you like? Is it the media the bits are stored on, and aside from duplication being illegal, are licensing questions just meaningless noise? Is it a non-transferrable lease subject to whatever conditions and restrictions they care to impose now or in the future until they choose to cut you off?

November 12, 2008 11:15:09 PM

duplicated.. isn't there a delete function?
November 13, 2008 1:47:03 AM

I don't know about all of you, but if I buy a game new for $40, sell it two weeks later for $20, I'm putting that $20 towards my new game. So I don't think the second-hand market really takes much away from developers in general, just moves it around more. If the second-hand market went down, the first-hand market would probably go down a considerable amount, too.
November 13, 2008 5:24:05 AM

Didn't somebody just complain about posters who don't respond to their own thread?

This would seem a similar case.
November 13, 2008 5:55:56 AM

The second hand market most definitely has an adverse effect on sales. While you might buy only 2/3s as many games if there was no option to sell used games, all of those people who paid nearly retail for that used copy would now be paying exactly retail and it wouldn't effect their buying habits at all.

Now whether or not that is an overall bad thing is easily debatable. I personally have only sold maybe 5 games in my life. Two were because I ended up getting duplicate copies and the others were all games that were so awful that I would be glad if the developer made that much less money because the product didn't deserve what they already got out of me.

I would imagine that for many people, they sell games they don't like and keep the ones that they do, though there are many who sell almost every game as soon as they beat it. Those people would probably be less likely to buy early if they could get none of their money back on the resale.

While in all fairness the publisher/developer should get money for each copy sold, the consumer should be allowed some recourse if they really didn't like the game.
November 13, 2008 4:50:10 PM

there never any complaints against the old DRM methods where you just need a cd key as it stops the nee pc user from copying a game

but if they go with making extremely annoying DRM which shortens the life of the game (by linking it to drm servers which can go down at any moment and leave you with a $60 cup coaster)

then it will force paying customers to move to piracy and at that point you lost them for good

every new game that has come out this year was cracked the day of release

the so the pirates wind up with a game that installs and runs with no problem

while the legit customers are forced to go through a crap load of security checks each time they want to use or install the game

and please don't bring up the stupid statement of locks on a house don't keep criminals out so would you stop locking your door because it is defeated by

how would you feel if your neighbor or boss from work installed a second lock on your house door and you needed his or her consent before you could go into your own house

no one wants some one else lock on their own property

games are too much of a gamble now.

the drm can cause a number of system problems

and the only way to find out which kind of drm is used, is to buy the game first (or search on line and find out from some pour soul who got cheated out of $60), at which point you cant get your money back

steam is just as bad as securom, it just is not as invasive but it is just as bad

if steam goes down, then so do your games

if all of the classic pc games required DRM servers, tell me how many of them would still work today?

remember to goal of a game company is not to be nice to the customer, it is to make as much money as possible and sadly for them they found many dirty underhanded ways of doing it and it is starting to backfire on them

they took every step possible to make it so the only way to find out if you would like a game or if it will work properly is to buy it first.
which in their view would = to people buying their product rather they like it or not
November 13, 2008 5:26:47 PM

Steam is not just as bad as securom. It has the the same risk but securom has other downsides on top of that and Steam is much less likely to go offline than a server set up for a specific game that EA controls.

I trust Valve many times more than I trust EA and so I see the risk as much much less than with EA's Securom titles.
November 13, 2008 5:27:03 PM

Amen to that...

Honestly, it seems to me that these new drm schemes are only linked to the second hand market or people who lend games to their friends.

The online pirate isn't affected at all.