DRM and You! Thread

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Grimhound, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. Grimhound

    Grimhound Still Mildly Glowing

    Jan 22, 2008
    Okay. Apparently what Steam published up as the requirements weren't necessarily correct. 2k Elizabeth popped up with this.

    Hey guys,

    As many of you are aware, yesterday Steam's pre-purchase program began and the specs for BioShock 2 were posted along with that announcement.

    These specs were taken from the retail packaging of BioShock 2. And since bullet points on the back of the box don't always explain the full story, here is a little more detail about what that means.

    BioShock 2 is using a standard Games for Windows Live activation system, much like other games you have played in the past. That doesn't mean you always have to be online to play or save the game - you can create an offline profile for the Single Player portion of the game (you just won't earn achievements and you can't play Multiplayer, of course.)

    We are using SecuROM only as a disc check method for the retail copy of BioShock 2. That is it's only use.

    I am now checking the final plans for BioShock 2's specifications for Steam - and I'll get you a more complete answer by the end of the week. I have also been compiling a feature that will help answer a host of questions about BioShock 2 on the PC, including a podcast and screenshots of the PC version, and that should be out within a few days as well.

    I'm sorry for the confusion, and I hope to clear it up entirely for you soon.


  2. OakTable

    OakTable Vault Senior Citizen

    Nov 26, 2009
    So what if you have a mouse? I can still aim pretty good without aim assist (annoying when your gun turns towards a guy with his back turned instead of the 2 guys who are looking at you).
  3. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    Good for you. I don't think games like that play as well without a mouse, and I know many people don't think so either.
  4. rcorporon

    rcorporon So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Jan 31, 2008
    I used to be in the "I don't care" camp until I bought Mass Effect and it wouldn't install on my computer because I have virtual CD-ROM drives. After that, I was in the "anti-DRM" crowd.
  5. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt I should set a custom tit

    Oct 28, 2008
    Well, what's funny is that such elaborate DRM schemes only promote illegal cracking, since people don't want to bother with the crappy rules and install limits etc. Also, what happens to people who don't have Internet and/or GfWL available?
  6. TheWesDude

    TheWesDude Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 25, 2005
    then you are not in their target demographic
  7. BR4ZIL

    BR4ZIL Still Mildly Glowing

    Feb 22, 2008
    what i seriously cant undestand is why they bother with these huge DRM schemes, games will always get pirated, and as Ausdoerrt said it only promotes more pirating. take Steam for example, its easy, if you have a pirated copy you cant go online (which pretty much kills the game for those who have pirated copies) and you cant download patches, what i think they should do is: put more online content (multiplayer or whatever) so people will want a original copy.

    i feel your pain man, mine happened with C&C 3 and after that i always have to find no-CD/DVD for my secuROM protected games just cause i have Daemon Tools installed

    and btw Bioshock SUCKS, finished playing yesterday, it fails as shooter and as "somekind of" RPG.
  8. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    No it doesn't. The publisher assumption is that the few days it takes to pirate new protection systems have a significant impact on sales, and that if pirating is more difficult a significant portion of more casual pirates will opt to buy instead. They have the numbers, though they're not revealing them, to back that decision up internally. "DRM promotes piracy", on the other hand, is just speculation with no proof.

    Steam is DRM. Kind of destroying your own argument there.
  9. BR4ZIL

    BR4ZIL Still Mildly Glowing

    Feb 22, 2008
    well i take the "DRM promotes piracy" from my experience, some of my friends also had to download a pirated copy because they couldnt get the activation working or they already reached the installation limit.

    and what i meant when i said Steam is why they (other companies) dont follow Steam's DRM
  10. TheWesDude

    TheWesDude Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 25, 2005
    i do not mind steam DRM.

    what i do not like is how hard it is to get single player trainers and cheats to work on steam games.

    i also virtualize some cd drives for some of the things i do. like watching asian dramas. some of those come on burnable cds or ISOs and copying them out to watch them with the subs is pretty important. it hasnt caused a problem for me with securom, but each time i get a game it makes me wonder if getting that game will cause problems with me watching my asian dramas.

    and due to those not being copyrighted in the US, i can watch them legally and have them on my computer without breaking any laws.

    lots of games are either pre-release cracked, or within 1-3 days of release get cracked. the more involved the DRM or the more questionable as to the quality of the game the higher i would be looking for a cracked copy.

    while day 0 cracks definately hurt their sales numbers, there are really very few games worth a day 0 purchase in my book.

    normally what i do is i find out peoples opinions on the games via msg boards and/or just simply wait for the price to drop on them.
  11. Arr0nax

    Arr0nax A Smooth-Skin

    Oct 30, 2009
    Re: Bioshock 2's DRM Onion

    I'd like to know more about what seems a well-informed opinion. Would you care to elaborate ? Is there some data about this ?

    As far as I know the "delay" on piracy is just that : a delay. Besides, this opinion you advance makes even less sense considering than a large part of games are pirated BEFORE they get in stores.

    To me it's a very similar phenomenon to advertising. We are guessing it generates more profit than it costs, but the society as a whole just ends up wasting gigantesque amounts of work and resources in something totally unproductive.
  12. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    What I find most ironic is that all these DRM schemes fail when a game store employee snatches a game from the magazine and uploads it for a cracking team.
  13. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Re: Bioshock 2's DRM Onion

    There is no public data about this and I'm not about to share stuff shared privately. I know, it sucks, air of mysticism and all that, and you don't really have to take my word for it. Some scepticism is warranted either way.

    But the logic is this: the hardcore pirates aren't a big problem. The fact that they crack the software is, but their own impact on the consumer numbers is neglible, especially because they are lost sales by definition. The people they want to target are the more casual pirates; gamers who don't have the patience to wait a few days, gamers who easily get discouraged if the pirating is difficult (hence the popularity of spreading false pirate copies). From what I've been told, targeting those people has made a large impact on reducing the damage by piracy (I have yet to speak to a single developer or publisher who doesn't see piracy as a major problem, btw), though not enough to revitalize the semi-abandoned PC industry. Digital download is having a bigger, more positive impact.

    Advertising has also been proven to work by research. Simply because this research is difficult doesn't mean companies "just guess" advertising works.
  14. UncannyGarlic

    UncannyGarlic Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 6, 2008
    Re: Bioshock 2's DRM Onion

    I bash it every chance I get so it's not that it doesn't get any, it's that it gets little and that people have fallen in love with Steam and will defend it as perfect, even if it isn't. I should never have to connect to the internet in order to play a singleplayer game, plain and simple.

    I call BS. From what I've seen, invasiveness of DRM is directly proportionate to lost sales. It doesn't do any damn good to pay money to reduce piracy if the net gain on sales doesn't make up for the cost of the DRM and lost consumer good will/damage to public image. Blizzard's CD Key-bnet combo is my preferred DRM. It doesn't work for singleplayer games as well since cd-key generators aren't exactly hard to find, but it's non-invasive and, from what I've seen, as effective as anything else.
  15. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Re: Bioshock 2's DRM Onion

    Oh, that's interesting, "from what you've seen"? What an indescribably convincing argument.

    I can't show my hand so I don't expect to convince anyone, but I've seen enough myself to be convinced the publisher view is not as wrong as disgruntled consumers paint it to be. If you hope to convince me otherwise, you're going to have to come up with statistics and sales tracking, because that's what publishers have. If not, then I don't even need to call BS, since it's so obvious.
  16. Bal-Sagoth

    Bal-Sagoth Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Nov 1, 2008
    Guess it is a good thing I am a PS3 gamer, that foolishness would drive me crazy.
  17. UncannyGarlic

    UncannyGarlic Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 6, 2008
    Re: Bioshock 2's DRM Onion

    Well I'd show you my numbers, unfortunately I just can't give away those numbers, I mean god knows who might be reading this. Just because a company continues to spend perfectly good money on something claiming that it's effective, doesn't necessarily mean that it is, especially when piracy is the question at hand (look at the RIAA's battle and all the good that's done them). I'm doubtful that they have contracted for any serious studies to be done on the actual impact and I think that part of the issue is that it's not an easy thing to measure (require many studies and/or a compilation of a great deal of data). I'm sure that the data that Sony (SecuROM) shares points to that, I'm sure that Protection Technology's (StarForce) shared data points to the same, and I'm sure that Valve's (Steam) data does as well (and the latter most is likely true).

    Until publishers are willing to publicly disclose their data, I will continue to call BS on them.

    Clearly it's working so well, just look at how little Spore was pirated due to it's DRM! Oh wait... It also makes a pretty big assumption, that the majority of casual pirates pirate games because they are so eager for the game. That's something which could be reasonably measured with studies (and it has been, with price always being #1, not time). Of course, who conducted and financed the study and for what reason is also important.

    Again, the point is that it's not the most profitable route unless you're clever about it (Steam) and even then you're combining it with digital distribution, which you yourself admits is more profitable.

    Of course you could always point to the numbers that developers and publishers like to throw out there, with no explanation of how the number was calculated because there really is no accurate way to calculate it. If you assume that every pirated copy of a game is a lost sale (which is what I suspect companies do), then your numbers are going to be massively overinflated. It assumes that everyone who pirates a game would otherwise buy it and did not and it makes assumptions about the number of people behind an IP address. The fact that they even throw such numbers out there does nothing for their credibility on the subject, not that pirates' generalizations are any more credible.
  18. Phil the Nuka-Cola Dude

    Phil the Nuka-Cola Dude Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Jul 9, 2004
    That's all well and good, but it just doesn't work.

    I can't think of a single Securom 'protected' AAA game in the last three years that wasn't pre'd several days before release. Also, (serious question) what is a "casual pirate"? :?

    DRM is ineffective, and of course it promotes piracy. Obviously I can't cite any specific examples (rules and whatnot), but I assure you that many sales have been lost due to nasty DRM.
  19. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jul 15, 2008
    I'd take it that the casual pirate is the pirate who isn't as tech savvy, which is what most people belong to.

    Back when it was all just 'backup the .exe, copy the crack' and the crack usually came with the package, there wasn't really any barrier or difficulty to pirate a game, as long as there were some reliable groups around and you knew how to find the downloads. I'm not that well up to date in terms of copy protection, but some types are without a doubt stronger than others nowadays and a simple crack no longer suffices. At some point Daemon Tools entered the scene, which again took the general public, or say the casual pirate, some time to widely put to use I'd say. Especially when the free Daemon Tools version often wasn't enough anymore. Then there were visual-drive hiders, other programs you had to run in the background to start the game, or otherwise complicated procedures, hex editors and whatnot. That stuff scares away people. Especially with the growing paranoia people have towards viruses, I imagine there would be quite some who just stop pirating once it gets just a little bit too difficult for them.

    And then there's the really, really strong stuff. I think Sacred 2 had that. When people started to try and pirate it, any version they put out on the net had something wrong with it. Either the game wouldn't save anymore, the game would just stop working at a certain point, and other scenarios that didn't leave you happy, I can't really remember. That might actually be a profitable DRM type, as the pirate is basically only delivering a demo. Well, as long as it isn't fully cracked that is.

    Thing is, if the game is in the shops and hasn't been put on the web yet in pirated form, I'd say that'd be a win for DRM. And some games definitely didn't hit the web in pirated form until after a while. But that's all just my own mumbling without any data to back it up. Take it for whatever you will.
  20. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt I should set a custom tit

    Oct 28, 2008
    I'm not quite sure, but wasn't Sacred 2 pretty bugged up on release anyway? Not sure though.

    I'd say everything comes down to how good/popular the game is. If it's good enough, most people will buy it early enough regardless of DRM, probably even more likely if the DRM isn't intrusive. If the game's not worth the money they're asking for it, one would either give up on it or wait until it's fully cracked which happens eventually anyway.

    Also, one thing I noticed, just to avoid the confusion like including/not including STEAM in the discussion, the argument's primarily about INTRUSIVE DRM that installs "shadow programs" without user knowledge, conflicts with certain hardware, and limits the ways people can use their purchased product. Pretty much, Starforce and Securom are the biggest culprits here, other DRM that doesn't inconvenience the user is completely reasonable.