Selling a game on Valve’s Steam service is already a safeguard against piracy, but now the developer has come up with a new technology that it claims will make DRM “obsolete.”
In an age when game publishers are desperately seeking a DRM solution that will protect their investments, and where legit gamers who purchase their games are often the ones who suffer from invasive protection schemes, Valve’s claim that it has made DRM obsolete is a bold one.
Valve’s new method technology is called Custom Executable Generation (CEG), which make a unique copy each games for each user--essentially rendering the game unplayable but anyone else. The CEG will allow game access on multiple machines without install limits and without having to install root kits.
CEG is now an integrated part of Steamworks, a complete suite of publishing and development tools that are available free of charge to developers and publishers worldwide for putting content on Steam.
Also a part of the new Steamworks is support for in-game downloadable content (DLC), allowing users to make immediate purchases and experience the new content in the same game session. Added is the new matchmaking system that was shipped and tested in Left 4 Dead.
"Delivering this extension of services on Steamworks first anniversary, demonstrates our commitment to continually develop the platform to better serve the community working with these tools," said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. "As we roll out these features, we continue to look for new ways make PC games easier to create and better for customers to experience."
Of course, Valve’s claim that CEG makes DRM obsolete only applies if a publisher puts its game on Steam. With CEG and Steam’s previously existing protection system, we hope to see even more developer and publisher support on Valve’s gaming ecosystem.