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VirtualAce
05-16-2009, 12:01 PM
DRM | GamePolitics (http://www.gamepolitics.com/category/topics/drm)

No SecuROM for Sims 3 according to EA. In fact no DRM except for the good old input your code and off you go. No hidden ring 0 DRM apps, no authorization limits, no annoying hardware issues, no phoning home to EA to report your activities, nada...nothing. This is probably because of the class action lawsuit EA was hit with over SPORE. Here's to hoping DRM's like Steam and SecuROM die a horrible painful slow death so we can get back to gaming instead of diagnosing problems caused by harmful DRM apps.

Steam is less intrusive to be sure but it is still DRM. If they would just digitally distribute the game and let us put in a code to play instead of having to phone home to Steam all the time I'd be much abliged. Perhaps companies are finally starting to see how DRM is not stopping the pirates and is hurting legitimate sales. If you pirate games you are a thief and a detriment to the PC but it is nice to see that EA is getting back to the business of publishing games for those who will buy them rather than punishing them to catch those who will never buy them. I know, I for one, will be buying many EA games in the future if they remove the DRM from them. Serial code's are fine for me and are so non-intrusive as to be a non-issue.

Hats off to EA for finally coming around. They have also released a DRM de-authorization tool so you can manage the authorization limits on any game released after May 2008. I guess this means that any game I buy for myself can also be used on my wife's computer. That is good news indeed.

Consumer - 1
DRM - 0

h3ro
05-16-2009, 01:54 PM
Good news. Last game I bought I had to download a crack for to make it work as my gaming pc did not have a internet connection.

Elysia
05-16-2009, 04:45 PM
Actually, I saw an article once that pointed out how DRM was necessary and how it would hurt companies much, much more if there was none.
We are PC games so pirated, you may ask? Is it because of DRM? No! In fact not! It's because they CAN pirate the game that they do it.
In fact, DRM mostly prevents zero-day downloads, which is the biggest and most important date for the game companies.
Compare DRM to your door locks. You need to lock and unlock your door every time you leave your home. Inconvenient? Sure. But we're used to it. So we have to suck it up and get used to DRM. So long as it works, I'm happy.
And screw those pirates who pirates game just because. They can go to the abyss.

mike_g
05-16-2009, 05:56 PM
Elysia: I know you say a few silly things once in a while, but this really takes the cake, lol

VirtualAce
05-17-2009, 12:44 AM
In fact, DRM mostly prevents zero-day downloads, which is the biggest and most important date for the game companies.


SPORE was cracked in an Australian release 2 weeks before the release in the USA. That pretty much shoots your theory right in the foot.

Elysia
05-17-2009, 03:01 AM
That's Spore - not other games. Especially not ones with brand new protection.
And by the way, it's a means to try to prevent zero-day piracy, not a tool that always works!
I want to find that article again. Damn, it was too long ago, it's difficult to find!
...If I ever will find it.

EDIT:
I FOUND IT!!
http://www.tweakguides.com/Piracy_1.html
There you go. Excellent article on DRM (or piracy).

cyberfish
05-17-2009, 07:42 AM
If someone is so crazy that they will go get the game on the first day it's out with long lineups, do you think they will get a pirated copy even if one is available?

IMHO, pirates don't mind waiting a few days, and no game so far has not been cracked within a few days.

DRM is just unnecessary inconveniece for legitimate users, and pirates will get them anyways.

laserlight
05-17-2009, 07:50 AM
DRM is just unnecessary inconveniece for legitimate users, and pirates will get them anyways.
How would you address the points made in the article that Elysia linked to? In particular, Elysia paraphrased from page 8 (http://www.tweakguides.com/Piracy_8.html):

It's common knowledge both within the gaming industry and outside it that piracy cannot be stopped completely. If properly motivated, and given enough time, pirates can and will break through virtually any software or hardware-based defence mechanism. The rationale behind the use of copy protection and DRM is much the same as the rationale behind the use of physical locks: to increase the complexity, time, effort and risk involved in attempting to overcome the protection, in the hopes of discouraging 'casual' pirates and thieves. In other words whether a physical lock or a digital lock, the aim is essentially to keep honest people honest, not to present an impenetrable barrier.

cyberfish
05-17-2009, 07:56 AM
But most pirates don't need to crack the protection themselves. They just need to google "[name of game] crack", and ready-made, easy to use cracks will turn up.

For a casual pirate, this is really not much more difficult than just a serial number. They need to google the serial number, too.

maxorator
05-17-2009, 07:59 AM
The big difference between DRM and physical locks is that DRM only needs to be broken once, every physical lock needs to be broken separately.

laserlight
05-17-2009, 08:18 AM
But most pirates don't need to crack the protection themselves. They just need to google "[name of game] crack", and ready-made, easy to use cracks will turn up.
Ah, I see that I did not completely understand the arguments presented here. This seems to be related to your earlier point:

If someone is so crazy that they will go get the game on the first day it's out with long lineups, do you think they will get a pirated copy even if one is available?
which is a counterpoint to:

However the SecuROM, StarForce and Tages protection methods in particular have presented a strong barrier against being cracked, and the end result has been that proper working pirated versions of some games have not been available prior to the game's official release, and sometimes not even a week or two afterwards. This delay and the resulting uncertainty in the availability of a pirated copy, however brief, can drive some impatient gamers to actually purchase the game rather than wait for a working crack to appear.
However, that does not quite square with the article's quote of 2K Games' Martin Slater:

We achieved our goals. We were uncracked for 13 whole days. We were happy with it. (...) As soon as you're gone, you're gone, and your sales drop astronomically if you've got a day-one crack.
If Slater is to be believed, then "if someone is so crazy that they will go get the game on the first day it's out with long lineups", they may still "get a pirated copy even if one is available".

cyberfish
05-17-2009, 08:23 AM
Ah I see.

But modern games are all at least a few GBs, and will take at least a week or 2 to download (even more for new releases, since the uploader:downloader ratio is very low).

If it's still easier (faster) to get it by downloading than purchasing... that's something they need to work on.

Even if the game is cracked on day 1, people won't start getting it until at least a few weeks later.

Elysia
05-17-2009, 09:46 AM
That can depend on the connections of most people. Lines with several megabits is not uncommon in many countries (myself, I have 50/10, so if there were enough seeds, I could get a game in a couple of hours, maybe even a half, if downloading at max speed.

And DRM is mostly for the kiddos know absolutely nothing about torrents or whatnot.
But this here discussion is just one of many why PC games are failing.
Companies have to protect their games with DRM somehow, yet so many people think it's an evil attempt by the companies to get control over their legally purchased games, and thus loathe it.
The key is to strike a perfect balance in-between: to be able to keep the DRM, yet not inconvenience users who legally bought the game.

Neo1
05-17-2009, 10:19 AM
Ah I see.

But modern games are all at least a few GBs, and will take at least a week or 2 to download (even more for new releases, since the uploader:downloader ratio is very low).

If it's still easier (faster) to get it by downloading than purchasing... that's something they need to work on.

Even if the game is cracked on day 1, people won't start getting it until at least a few weeks later.

It's real easy to tell which people are into the file-sharing community, and which are not. A few GBs will _NOT_ take a week, it won't even take half a day. Most torrent trackers will kick people out for hit'n run, which in shot terms is not uploading the same as you download. So the upload:download ratio is actually 1-to-1, and in most countries, atleast here in scandinavia, the average internet connection is 6mbits down, atleast.

On top of that, most uploaders use seedboxes rather than their own connections, so they might have between 200 and 300 mbits upload, and suddenly, it won't take more than an hour or two to haul down large files, certainly not weeks.

It's a very organized society, quite fascinating really, alot of effort goes into maximizing how fast files can be spread. And bear in mind, p2p is the bottom of the pirate food-chain, in newsgroups and on the scenes private FTP-servers, things go even quicker.

VirtualAce
05-17-2009, 11:48 AM
The key is to strike a perfect balance in-between: to be able to keep the DRM, yet not inconvenience users who legally bought the game.

Of which so far all attempts at this have failed. However you are forgetting that, at least in the USA, you cannot 'take-over' people's computers just because they bought 1 piece of software. In this instance the courts have ruled in favor of the consumers. Games can make it just fine without DRM. Perhaps its more a question of why aren't those sites who provide clearly illegal downloads being targeted by the corporate lawyers instead of the consumer who paid for the product? It appears to me that going after the source would be more beneficial than attacking it through your paying customer base.

There are other ways to combat piracy but they are not being utilized as of yet. Improvise, adapt, and overcome or die. The market changes daily and this is nothing new. Steam has a very good approach except that the games phone home which is not all that great to me. However the benefit is that your friends can see if you are playing and it is very easy to get an online game going. Now if Steam provided boxed copies as well through an online store and allowed you to both digitally download or buy the boxed copy it would be nearly perfect. I really wouldn't care if my boxed copy phoned home to Steam but I'm one of those guys that really want the box, the manual, and the security knowing that my next hard drive format won't thrash all my games or force me to go through lengthy downloads and cd-key hunts just to get them back. Steam also has great deals running from week to week. About 3 weeks ago they ran a special on some very good games and they were only about 20 bucks. They said their sales increased almost 600%. In fact they made so much money as to overcome the discount price and actually came out far ahead of where they would have been if they had not discounted the games.

I now have over 375 games in my quickly growing collection and every single one of them is bought and paid for. 2 of those are direct downloads from Steam and about 5 or 6 of them are from my hardware vendors providing free games with their products. The rest are from various retail stores. I am in no way advocating piracy and I cannot believe how many of my friends are so quick to pirate any type of media when their very job relies on media much like what they are stealing from other companies. That just blows my mind. If you pirate you are stealing - period. No justification in my mind.



We achieved our goals. We were uncracked for 13 whole days. We were happy with it. (...) As soon as you're gone, you're gone, and your sales drop astronomically if you've got a day-one crack.


And yet the consumers who purchased may have years of headaches just so 2k's games would last a mere 13 days without being cracked. So punish the actual paying consumer for as long as they own the game to stick it to the pirates for 13 days. What a great sales model. Keep it up and you won't be around.

Incidentally the entire Civilizations 4 package was just made available at retail stores. On the back of the box in big red letters it says that all of the content is being provided DRM free. Excellent. I hope more companies follow suit. Create great games and customers will pay for them and instead of concentrating on all the thieves that stole your product, concentrate on the people who actually bought your product. Chances are they will continue to do so in the future.

Wraithan
05-17-2009, 12:14 PM
I am going to be honest, I have pirated some games in the past. That being said there have been a lot of times I have pirated a game because it did not provide a sufficient demo for me to try before I buy it. If I enjoyed the game I will go buy the real game, and if I didn't enjoy it then I don't buy it.

I utilize a lot of the community created cracks, and have even done a few of my own because I hate it when a game requires a copy of the CD/DVD to be in the drive while I am playing. I shouldn't have to keep my discs all in a case near me, and have to get up (because my computer is not positioned to be easily accessible due to my space) and change the disc out if I have the game installed.

I am a developer and can appreciate the time and effort folks put into creating the software, which is why I use piracy as a sort of demo before I buy, instead of just using it as the way to obtain the whole game with no cost and not support the developers. At the same time I don't want to waste my money on a bad product.

MS Visio is an example of a non-game that I have used the same technique for. I used the visio knock-offs for a while but wanted to try the real thing so I pirated a copy of it, found I loved it and bought real version of it. Not all piracy is bad, and I would have never purchased visio unless it was bargain binned for a couple buck, if you know what I mean.

twomers
05-17-2009, 12:26 PM
Which is why I prefer X-day demos rather than reduced functionality demos.
They make an honest man out of a pirate.

Wraithan
05-17-2009, 12:27 PM
Exactly, give me a 10 day demo and I will really get to try things out, give me a single level, with only 2-3 of the skills usable and 1 weapon, I doubt I will get a good enough feel to judge if I want to buy it

Elysia
05-17-2009, 01:45 PM
Of which so far all attempts at this have failed.
Yes, this is our current predicament to which a solution must be found or PC games will die.
People seem to forget some things - we will always have to pay a price for something, whatever it is. We cannot get everything for free - in this case, I'm talking about the DRM. There WILL be restrictions. Keep the game in the drive, or such.
Just as we lock the door. Just as we have one year warranty instead of forever.
It's never perfect and we will have to live with these kinds of things. We must accept this.
But when it comes to games, we tend to forget...


However you are forgetting that, at least in the USA, you cannot 'take-over' people's computers just because they bought 1 piece of software. In this instance the courts have ruled in favor of the consumers.
O_o I never mentioned such a thing... Nor do they do such a thing either.
I think you should read the article a little more carefully.
It's true that some DRM do install stuff on the computer, but they never (or should never) interfere with your day-to-date use. If they do, then they are taking over your computer, yes. And that they should never do. But they should try to stop piracy.


Games can make it just fine without DRM.
I believe the article proved that all companies that tried it has suffered severe losses in case of piracy, even if the game was popular?
Now, if the game had a DRM system to prevent casual piracy AND was popular, now THEN the company would actually rake in money on the game as they should. And that is what DRM is for.


Perhaps its more a question of why aren't those sites who provide clearly illegal downloads being targeted by the corporate lawyers instead of the consumer who paid for the product? It appears to me that going after the source would be more beneficial than attacking it through your paying customer base.
I do so agree...


There are other ways to combat piracy but they are not being utilized as of yet. Improvise, adapt, and overcome or die. The market changes daily and this is nothing new. Steam has a very good approach except that the games phone home which is not all that great to me. However the benefit is that your friends can see if you are playing and it is very easy to get an online game going. Now if Steam provided boxed copies as well through an online store and allowed you to both digitally download or buy the boxed copy it would be nearly perfect. I really wouldn't care if my boxed copy phoned home to Steam but I'm one of those guys that really want the box, the manual, and the security knowing that my next hard drive format won't thrash all my games or force me to go through lengthy downloads and cd-key hunts just to get them back. Steam also has great deals running from week to week. About 3 weeks ago they ran a special on some very good games and they were only about 20 bucks. They said their sales increased almost 600%. In fact they made so much money as to overcome the discount price and actually came out far ahead of where they would have been if they had not discounted the games.

I now have over 375 games in my quickly growing collection and every single one of them is bought and paid for. 2 of those are direct downloads from Steam and about 5 or 6 of them are from my hardware vendors providing free games with their products. The rest are from various retail stores. I am in no way advocating piracy and I cannot believe how many of my friends are so quick to pirate any type of media when their very job relies on media much like what they are stealing from other companies. That just blows my mind. If you pirate you are stealing - period. No justification in my mind.
Kudos to Steam. They've done it well. But do note that Steam is a sort of DRM, nevertheless, but one that is not too intrusive.
Btw, you know that there are backup services on the web that you can purchase for a mere sum per month that will keep an online backup of your entire hard drive? Some can keep copies of specific files - that way you won't lost your information in case of a crash. Might be worth looking into. Many offer unlimited space.

VirtualAce
05-17-2009, 03:00 PM
It's true that some DRM do install stuff on the computer, but they never (or should never) interfere with your day-to-date use. If they do, then they are taking over your computer, yes. And that they should never do. But they should try to stop piracy.

SecuROM does in fact interfere with the normal operation of your computer system hence the reason for the victorious lawsuit against EA.

Neo1
05-17-2009, 05:16 PM
I believe the article proved that all companies that tried it has suffered severe losses in case of piracy, even if the game was popular?
Now, if the game had a DRM system to prevent casual piracy AND was popular, now THEN the company would actually rake in money on the game as they should. And that is what DRM is for.
.

What do you mean by 'casual piracy'? All pirates are casual pirates! The number of people actually involved in cracking the DRM protection can be expressed with less than 10 fingers. As soon as the releasegroups are done cracking a game, the crack is distributed within a matter of hours, and everyone can apply it and play for free.

Whether or not the developers used SecuROM, Starforce, or just an old fashioned CD-key, has 0% to do with how fast the 'casual pirates' can gain access to the game content, as soon as the crackers are done, everyone can play.

Snafuist
05-17-2009, 06:23 PM
If you pirate you are stealing - period.


That's a bold statement for someone whose signature (inaccurately) quotes Benjamin Franklin.

I don't know about (and don't care for) the situation in the gaming industry, but the (illegal) download of MP3s makes me buy more records: if I like it, I'll buy it - if I don't like it, I won't listen to it anyway. But I can see that the situation is probably different with respect to software.

Anyway, in a free market, the customer decides about the distribution model. If you don't like DRM protected games, then don't buy them. By spending money on things you don't like, you keep getting sold things you don't like.

Greets,
Philip

MK27
05-17-2009, 06:47 PM
I don't know about (and don't care for) the situation in the gaming industry, but the (illegal) download of MP3s makes me buy more records:

I love music and I hate to hurt the feelings of all those millionaires of whom I am I fan, but I think the whole issue that piracy (cassettes, mp3s, whatever) "hurts the industry because musicians need to make money" is very lame. I am sure it could totally destroy people in the "music industry" who are not musicians, but so what? Before there was a recording industry, there were professional musicians of all sorts everywhere in the world already. Most of the musicians I've known made most of their money performing; selling units was just a bonus. In fact, one could see profiteering in the sale of recordings as something that hampers music sans industry.

I don't know how this maps into gaming stuff (don't play em! never will!) but it seems a bogus comparison; those people cannot make money just by performing. Caveat: The comparison is fair in so far as the royalty concept affects the industry: obviously there is no chance of this, but they (the game industry) might have contributed more to a better world if they had conceived of a different business model, like, one based on covering production costs. After that, the game is free to the world (but not until the production costs, eg, salaries for people, are covered). There would be so many good free games around, piracy would be way less of a factor.

At this point it should be clear that so much money is available -- programmers would not lose ANYTHING*. Beyond that, you are just defending the absolute worst kind of capitalist pig scum -- THEY ARE THE ONES MOST UPSET ABOUT PIRACY, BECAUSE IT'S THEIR BILLIONS. They would invest in anything. Most importantly THEY DO NOT GIVE ANYTHING BACK, FOOL (you just think it's great because there is no alternative reality to contrast). There is no morality there and no respect deserved.

But w/r/t to soggy brainz, tumble dry -- YMMV.

*except the ones who are shareholders too! Whaaahooo!

matsp
05-17-2009, 07:14 PM
Of course, not every product a company works on is ever making profit. For each really succesful game, how many do you think there are that just don't make it to the customer for some reason? Sure there are SOME companies that produce really good products, and nearly all are a success. But there are plenty that don't make it in the world.

So just making each game free when it turns profitable won't work, for two reasons:
1. There is no real incentive for the producers of the game to make it a (big) success.
2. Who is going to cover the cost of the flops? Ok, so some of those eventually recover their costs, but I'm sure only 20-30% of the games released actually make a good profit. Another 20-30% break even. The other half or so makes a loss. [That's counting number of titles - obviously, in number of games sold, probably 80-90% make a profit, since the big sellers will beat the poor sellers by factors of 10-100x].

I'm not saying a company shouldn't give something back, or that all should be about making money. But we do (most of us at least) live in an environment where money is important. A company needs to make ENOUGH money to pay it's employees salaries and then a bit to reward those who paid for the company to start (stock-holders).

--
Mats

MK27
05-17-2009, 07:28 PM
Of course, not every product a company works on is ever making profit.
So just making each game free when it turns profitable won't work, for two reasons:
1. There is no real incentive for the producers of the game to make it a (big) success.

So if there was never another Beatles or something you'd never get to hear any music?

I would really question what the "cost" of an individual game is conceived of as, esp. w/r/t to MARKETING cost*. People really do not need advertising to hear about the existence of video games (or music). So everyone lines up on day one and the game sucks? What difference would it make then if you never even heard of the release, except maybe a week later cause a bunch of people loved it? Or from someone with similar tastes?

I certainly do not believe that just because you are a computer programmer who like to write games, you deserve money. If the game you write cannot sell enough copies to cover "production costs" (ie your salary), then too bad -- your salary just went down. It starts at zero, but it should still max out because God hates a total pig. So it is just as stupid to say that a good game (written by someone else) should then charge more to cover the salary of the loser who wrote the bad game. You may think what you are doing is worthwhile, but if no body agrees with you, the only reward you "deserve" is the satisfaction of doing what you believe is worthwhile. If that's not enough, do something different. I think this is already tempered by the concept of R&D, which allows a company to have people working on things it's members consider important without requiring them to directly contribute code or whatever to a money making product. Long live the gaming industry.

*hey I totally change my mind, they pay for cboard too. Or not.

Elysia
05-18-2009, 10:58 AM
SecuROM does in fact interfere with the normal operation of your computer system hence the reason for the victorious lawsuit against EA.
It caused unintentional harm, mostly likely, yes. They screwed up and the lawsuit is their own fault.
However, that doesn't make SecuROM--or any other--DRMs evil.
As long as it works and does not interfere - it's okay. If it does, then it needs to be fixed, and it obviously must have been by now.


What do you mean by 'casual piracy'? All pirates are casual pirates! The number of people actually involved in cracking the DRM protection can be expressed with less than 10 fingers. As soon as the releasegroups are done cracking a game, the crack is distributed within a matter of hours, and everyone can apply it and play for free.

Whether or not the developers used SecuROM, Starforce, or just an old fashioned CD-key, has 0% to do with how fast the 'casual pirates' can gain access to the game content, as soon as the crackers are done, everyone can play.
Your usual "grandma" and "grandpa" certainly does not know how "cracks" work. It's more likely they can figure out how to burn a CD/DVD. And if did that - whoopie-do - they've just pirated the game. But with copyright protection, it's not that easy.
That is the point - to hinder everyone from doing it. Hinder the casual.
And it also serves as a deterrent for zero-day piracy, as mentioned.


I don't know about (and don't care for) the situation in the gaming industry, but the (illegal) download of MP3s makes me buy more records: if I like it, I'll buy it - if I don't like it, I won't listen to it anyway. But I can see that the situation is probably different with respect to software.
Unfortunately, for games, I would estimate only a fraction actually buys the game after having downloaded it. So the figures say - there's far more downloads than purchases.


I love music and I hate to hurt the feelings of all those millionaires of whom I am I fan, but I think the whole issue that piracy (cassettes, mp3s, whatever) "hurts the industry because musicians need to make money" is very lame. I am sure it could totally destroy people in the "music industry" who are not musicians, but so what? Before there was a recording industry, there were professional musicians of all sorts everywhere in the world already. Most of the musicians I've known made most of their money performing; selling units was just a bonus. In fact, one could see profiteering in the sale of recordings as something that hampers music sans industry.

I don't know how this maps into gaming stuff (don't play em! never will!) but it seems a bogus comparison; those people cannot make money just by performing. Caveat: The comparison is fair in so far as the royalty concept affects the industry: obviously there is no chance of this, but they (the game industry) might have contributed more to a better world if they had conceived of a different business model, like, one based on covering production costs. After that, the game is free to the world (but not until the production costs, eg, salaries for people, are covered). There would be so many good free games around, piracy would be way less of a factor.

At this point it should be clear that so much money is available -- programmers would not lose ANYTHING*. Beyond that, you are just defending the absolute worst kind of capitalist pig scum -- THEY ARE THE ONES MOST UPSET ABOUT PIRACY, BECAUSE IT'S THEIR BILLIONS. They would invest in anything. Most importantly THEY DO NOT GIVE ANYTHING BACK, FOOL (you just think it's great because there is no alternative reality to contrast). There is no morality there and no respect deserved.

But w/r/t to soggy brainz, tumble dry -- YMMV.

*except the ones who are shareholders too! Whaaahooo!
You need to calm down and actually put yourself into the situation the game industry is facing.
How much does it cost to make a game these days? For the "next-gen" systems, the sum is around $20-30 million dollars. For every copy of a sold game, they get about $5 of the $60 is sells for.
You can see that they need to sell around 6 million copies to just break even!
Compare that to the music industry and you can see how different and serious this is.
Partly to blame is the current retail chain. But most of the blame is on piracy.


So if there was never another Beatles or something you'd never get to hear any music?

I would really question what the "cost" of an individual game is conceived of as, esp. w/r/t to MARKETING cost*. People really do not need advertising to hear about the existence of video games (or music). So everyone lines up on day one and the game sucks? What difference would it make then if you never even heard of the release, except maybe a week later cause a bunch of people loved it? Or from someone with similar tastes?

I certainly do not believe that just because you are a computer programmer who like to write games, you deserve money. If the game you write cannot sell enough copies to cover "production costs" (ie your salary), then too bad -- your salary just went down. It starts at zero, but it should still max out because God hates a total pig. So it is just as stupid to say that a good game (written by someone else) should then charge more to cover the salary of the loser who wrote the bad game. You may think what you are doing is worthwhile, but if no body agrees with you, the only reward you "deserve" is the satisfaction of doing what you believe is worthwhile. If that's not enough, do something different. I think this is already tempered by the concept of R&D, which allows a company to have people working on things it's members consider important without requiring them to directly contribute code or whatever to a money making product. Long live the gaming industry.
Come on, seriously!
Do you believe that the games they make are bad? Of course they are not.
The problem is the surging costs of production and the very flat price of games! They have hardly climbed at all, so now they struggle to make profit.
It isn't about bad vs good games at all. It's about piracy stealing the profits away.
But say that you did produce a good game. You do get profit. But still 70% revenue is lost in piracy. Is that fair? I don't think so.

MK27
05-18-2009, 11:18 AM
The problem is the surging costs of production and the very flat price of games! They have hardly climbed at all, so now they struggle to make profit.
It isn't about bad vs good games at all. It's about piracy stealing the profits away.
But say that you did produce a good game. You do get profit. But still 70% revenue is lost in piracy. Is that fair? I don't think so.

Anyone that can rationalize $20-30 million in production costs for a video game needs to take a basic accounting class (after the lobotomy). Somebody is ripping someone off somewhere for something (on a regular basis), but it ain't software pirates.

I'll give you an industrial park building in a major city, two dozen professional staff, and all the equipment you can swallow for two years at 10-15% of that cost*. If you cannot produce the greatest video game in history with that, go out back and shoot yourself.

*if you've got the capital, we can start next week.

matsp
05-18-2009, 11:19 AM
So if there was never another Beatles or something you'd never get to hear any music?


Not at all. But if they make NO PROFIT from what they are currently selling, they will not have money to invest in potentially risky music. So all we will ever get is mainstream, "easy to listen to" music that doesn't challenge the current system. So no unusual music, because it would never make it out there.

And I'm not sure if the Beatles would have made it in such a world. There were probably SAFER styles of music to record and publish at the time.

Certainly, Frank Zappa would not have made it...

--
Mats

MK27
05-18-2009, 11:26 AM
Not at all. But if they make NO PROFIT from what they are currently selling, they will not have money to invest in potentially risky music.

Certainly, Frank Zappa would not have made it...


Frank Zappa never lost any money on records for anybody. I understand it was very expensive for him to tour because he wanted a lot of high paid muscians tho. He also recommended (before the internet was implimented, but the technology was available) that record companies should distribute stuff as a paid service. In other words, you subscribe for $30 a month and you can have as much as you can stomach. The fee covers the expenses. Everyone gets paid, and the consumer doesn't have to gamble at a store. But FZ would be the anti-christ for the company execs.

They do not put money into risk. They put it into increasingly formulaic pap and rest on the principle that some percentage of it will stick.

Neo1
05-18-2009, 11:26 AM
Your usual "grandma" and "grandpa" certainly does not know how "cracks" work. It's more likely they can figure out how to burn a CD/DVD.

So they can burn a CD/DVD, but not replace an exe file, even if they are given specific instructions?

ALL scene uploads are bundled with a text file explaining how to access the content, it's part of the scene rules, and if an upload does not follow the rules, it is nuked and a fixed version is uploaded instead.

And since the scene has all the good cracker, 90% of uploaded games and programs are bundled with specific instruction on how to use the crack.

I actually downloaded one of the bundled text files, from an Adobe photoshop torrent.




.::Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended + Crack::.
จจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจ

1. Run the SETUP ,install takes some time .

2. after installing go to the folder Crack and copy the file "Photoshop"

3. than go to : c:\program files\adobe\adobe photoshop CS3

or : c:\program files\adobe photoshop cs3 and than paste that file.

4. Seed and ENJOY.

.::Cracked By: TheFinder::.
จจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจจ


Go try it out yourself, any torrent with a crack, just make sure to only check the info text file, nothing illegal about that.

If grandma/grandpa can't figure _that_ out, then they sure as .... can't copy a DVD either.

Elysia
05-18-2009, 11:34 AM
Anyone that can rationalize $20-30 million in production costs for a video game needs to take a basic accounting class (after the lobotomy). Somebody is ripping someone off somewhere for something (on a regular basis), but it ain't software pirates.

No, it's true. At least I can prove it's blazingly high.
Consider a team of 80 members, whose salary each is $2000 / month.
The game takes 3 years to develop and test.
That is $2000 x 80 x 36 = 5..760..000
Make that $3000 / month and the costs rise to $8..640..000.

You see? It isn't so cheap anymore.
Here's a quote:


The industry insider went on to say, “Kutaragi has said, ‘Please develop suitable software for PS3 - this software must not be of the same standard as PS2 software.’ Developing software for the PS3 from scratch will require an initial investment of at least 2 billion yen [US $17.6 million] [not including development costs]. There are not many software companies that can easily afford that kind of money.”
Source: PS3 Development Costs Too high? (http://www.ps3power.com/ps3-dev-expensive.htm)

Another quote:

Ubisoft's Red Steel game for Wii will incur a development cost of approximately $12.75 million. Red Steel is being readied to launch alongside the Wii later this year. According to its developers, the game will have approximately 13 hours of play time.

Wii is considered to be the cheapest next-generation console to develop for. In May, THQ president Brian Farrell estimated Wii development costs are in the range of a quarter to half of that required for PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 development. What does this mean for developers? A game such as Red Steel could cost them between $24 - $48 million on PS3 or 360.
Source: Wii Development costs a quarter to half compared to PS3/360 (Nintendo + Wii + Ubisoft + Red Steel + Sony + PS3) (http://tech.commongate.com/post/Wii_Development_costs_a_quarter_to_half_compared_t o_PS3_360/)

See? It's not so farfetched, after all.


So they can burn a CD/DVD, but not replace an exe file, even if they are given specific instructions?

ALL scene uploads are bundled with a text file explaining how to access the content, it's part of the scene rules, and if an upload does not follow the rules, it is nuked and a fixed version is uploaded instead.

And since the scene has all the good cracker, 90% of uploaded games and programs are bundled with specific instruction on how to use the crack.

I actually downloaded one of the bundled text files, from an Adobe photoshop torrent.


Go try it out yourself, any torrent with a crack, just make sure to only check the info text file, nothing illegal about that.

If grandma/grandpa can't figure _that_ out, then they sure as .... can't copy a DVD either.

And who says they know where to find a torrent or how to actually download something via torrents?
I bet that's not something they do every day.

matsp
05-18-2009, 11:37 AM
Frank Zappa never lost any money on records for anybody. I understand it was very expensive for him to tour because he wanted a lot of high paid muscians tho. He also recommended (before the internet was implimented, but the technology was available) that record companies should distribute stuff as a paid service. In other words, you subscribe for $30 a month and you can have as much as you can stomach. The fee covers the expenses. Everyone gets paid, and the consumer doesn't have to gamble at a store. But FZ would be the anti-christ for the company execs.

They do not put money into risk. They put it into increasingly formulaic pap and rest on the principle that some percentage of it will stick.

I did not say FZ lost anyones money - in fact nearly all of his music was on his own record-label, because he didn't like the big record companies. But his own record company still did the same things that other music companies do...

--
Mats

Neo1
05-18-2009, 11:43 AM
And who says they know where to find a torrent or how to actually download something via torrents?
I bet that's not something they do every day.

...and this furthers your argument in which way? If the so called 'casual pirates' are so casual that they don't even know where to get their illegal copies, what is the point of the DRM protection again?

Everyone who knows how to use a torrent tracker and downloader, knows how to use the included cracks. There is no such thing as casual pirates when talking about games and software.

Elysia
05-18-2009, 11:46 AM
No, but seriously, there are always people who can't do something.
Not to say it isn't hard, but DRM scares some people away, which is part of what it is meant to do.
"Casual" simply refers to those who are scared away or just can't do it for some reason.

Neo1
05-18-2009, 12:18 PM
No, but seriously, there are always people who can't do something.
Not to say it isn't hard, but DRM scares some people away, which is part of what it is meant to do.
"Casual" simply refers to those who are scared away or just can't do it for some reason.

So SecuROM and the likes, scares away some of the pirates who has to replace one or two files in the install directory, and instead encourages people to go through the hassle of getting it to work the legal way, e.g. online activation, phoning in to get more activations, putting up with activation server downtime, having to remove all disk drive emulators and turning off ECN, putting up with rootkits being installed with the game as well as device drivers and so on.

Honestly, i think DRM scares people into pirating, not the other way around.

Elysia
05-18-2009, 12:23 PM
Then you haven't been reading facts.
Look at the article I presented at the beginning of the thread.

maxorator
05-18-2009, 12:50 PM
Then you haven't been reading facts.
Look at the article I presented at the beginning of the thread.
Neo1 is right about this. I've heard that many people download cracks for their legit games because of annoying DRMs.

Elysia
05-18-2009, 12:53 PM
I do agree. Hence the perfect balance.
DRMs have to exist because of piracy, but DRM is evil and causes piracy. An endless evil loop.
Well, at least you have insight on why they do exist in the first place and why companies aren't planning on removing them.
(Which is why we really have to SUPPORT them instead of spurning them!)

Neo1
05-18-2009, 12:58 PM
Then you haven't been reading facts.
Look at the article I presented at the beginning of the thread.

...


Similarly copy protection won't stop someone familiar with cracking tools, nor someone who knows how to use torrents,

This is the point i've been debating all along, pirating in the P2P sense will not be stopped by any kind of DRM, at all.

If by casual pirating, you mean friends borrowing eachothers games, like it says in the article, then please explain to me what the difference is? Obviously they save some bandwidth and exchange the discs in person instead, but what is stopping them from cracking the game at that point? Try to google "crack + gamename", and see how many hits you get.

I don't agree with the author of that article on this point. He probably is right about the increased venue though, i remember Starforce taking 1ฝ months for the crackers to break, some of the protection software they use is tough. And so in that month and a half, profit was good i guess.

Alright, i concede, good point.

But there is no such thing as casual pirates, not anymore atleast.

Elysia
05-18-2009, 01:04 PM
But there is no such thing as casual pirates, not anymore atleast.

I digress. I still do believe there is such a thing, even if on a smaller scale.
But I can see this not being the biggest point for copyright protection.

whiteflags
05-18-2009, 01:56 PM
I do agree. Hence the perfect balance.

I would like to point out that you are essentially promoting a false compromise for the reasons you gave. None of the conclusions the author drew from here (http://www.tweakguides.com/Piracy_10.html) regarding what vendors should do have to deal with DRM or its necessity in the market; all of them are related to the distribution part of marketing. Had the author concluded that DRM is necessary after vendors do the things he's listed, then he has done so fallaciously.

In example, if vendors coordinate worldwide releases, then the window to steal it is so small the economic impact would be negligible. As has been raised several times, the presence of DRM does not frustrate pirates and mainly frustrates purchasers (enjoy your $50 rental, oops, limited install release). The so-called casual pirates merely get their digital copies from other people who have done the work, it's pointless to argue that.

And if consumers quit the hysteria over DRM, as the author put it, then don't be surprised if DRM is simply a relic, because people are supporting the companies. Someone in the private sector will decide this eventually once the distribution models are working.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly as you've directly stated, PC games will not die because you did not find the golden mean for DRM. The author of the article thinks that 'death' means removal from reality (people do not play games anymore) and argued as such. Music has been similarly devalued, some distribution methods still use DRM and have not died yet, nor will they ever unless companies themselves phase it out. Audiophiles in particular will continue to support CD vendors like they supported vinyl. Perhaps you meant differently but I find that irrelevant at this point.

I think that providing a means to sample a game will stop all the piracy that companies will be able to stop, and should be focused on stopping. Some people will steal regardless. There are people out there who have every program for the Apple II, every song ever digitized, which is probably more than they are ever going to listen to in their lives. You're not going to stop those kinds of pack rats. They're likely only going to be able to spend money on some things.

I'm not sure if Blizzard does this for all their releases but Starcraft allowed people to "borrow" the game in the sense that you could install a spawned version from a friend's disk. The only difference was that you couldn't play online. Preventing outright stealing all without DRM. It is possible.

Elysia
05-18-2009, 03:21 PM
I will state this again.
I do consider DRM necessary, in some form. However, most of what you mention (such as below), is not something I would consider acceptable, nor should anyone else.
But remember that there are fair DRM and draconian DRM. The first is okay, the latter is not.
If your game simply checks with an activation server that your game is legait, what's the harm? Similarly, if it checks if the legit disc is in the drive, what's the harm? It may be somewhat annoying (the latter), but suck it up! At least we can do this much to support game companies.
This does not mean you should put up with any draconian DRM. Instead, don't buy it, don't pirate it and fire off a hate mail to the company, making your opinion clear.
I also do believe that companies should take additional actions, some of the good from the article are:

Release more demos. Demos are becoming rarer these days, and this provides an excuse for piracy. Of course Crysis had a full demo for example and was still pirated to the tune of almost 1 million copies in 2008 alone, however a demo released before the final game will help some legitimate purchasers avoid the temptation of day-zero piracy, help manage user expectations about the final game, spread valuable word of mouth legitimately, and also help identify major bugs earlier, leading to quicker patches.

Stop delaying releases by region. Releasing games earlier in some regions is probably the single biggest incentive for people to pirate a game and contribute to day-zero piracy. Releasing games with different protection methods in different regions also allows pirates to simply attack the weakest link to achieve a working crack. For example the TAGES system in STALKER: Clear Sky went uncracked for two weeks after release, however the Russian StarForce version of the game's executable - which was released three weeks earlier in Russia - was cracked and used as a working crack for the non-Russian versions upon their release. So release all games globally at approximately the same time, and unify the protection method if you're serious about slowing down day-zero piracy.

Lower prices on digital distribution. Instead of making sure that digital copies match retail copies in an effort to protect retail distribution, accept the transition to digital distribution by lowering prices to realistically reflect the lower costs, potentially increasing sales due to the greater convenience at a lower price.
...and...

Drop the DRM hysteria. Work with developers and publishers to provide verified and rational feedback on problems you genuinely believe are related to DRM so that they can rectify the issues, either through patches or workarounds, and of course to prevent these issues in newer versions of the protection systems. If all else fails, don't buy games which have problematic DRM, but don't pirate them either - this sends an unambiguous message to the games companies that all demand for their product - both legitimate and illegitimate - is falling.


In example, if vendors coordinate worldwide releases, then the window to steal it is so small the economic impact would be negligible.
I agree they should, one of the things I believe is very necessary (as quoted above).


As has been raised several times, the presence of DRM does not frustrate pirates and mainly frustrates purchasers (enjoy your $50 rental, oops, limited install release). The so-called casual pirates merely get their digital copies from other people who have done the work, it's pointless to argue that.
That is a very evil DRM scheme that should not exist, or so I do believe.


And if consumers quit the hysteria over DRM, as the author put it, then don't be surprised if DRM is simply a relic, because people are supporting the companies. Someone in the private sector will decide this eventually once the distribution models are working.
You still forget that people pirate just because they can. The DRM hysteria going away won't change that. In fact, taking away DRM altogether would just harm them for no good.
Then again, maybe the piracy will go away, who knows? But right now, it's not there yet!
At first, music was all DRM. Yet, people bought music, supported the companies. And now the DRM is going away and they are still making huge profit. It's a win-win, but first steps first.


I'm not sure if Blizzard does this for all their releases but Starcraft allowed people to "borrow" the game in the sense that you could install a spawned version from a friend's disk. The only difference was that you couldn't play online. Preventing outright stealing all without DRM. It is possible.
But this, my friend, is a form of DRM. And it's a fair DRM, too.
If it wasn't DRMd, you would be able to play online, no?
So obviously there is some sort of DRM, but it's kind of fair, don't you agree?

That is the kind of DRM that we might hope to get and accept.
By surrendering to that sort of DRM, we support the companies and everyone becomes happy.
We can't have everything--we must sacrifice something--but that doesn't mean we have to give up all of our rights.
Does this make sense? Because this is my point.
The article is also really nice because it helped open my eyes. I just thought DRM was all evil before, but after reading it, I decided to throw my support behind fair types of DRMs and support companies.

whiteflags
05-18-2009, 04:01 PM
You still forget that people pirate just because they can.
Did I forget?

I think that providing a means to sample a game will stop all the piracy that companies will be able to stop, and should be focused on stopping. Some people will steal regardless.



At first, music was all DRM. Yet, people bought music, supported the companies. And now the DRM is going away and they are still making huge profit. It's a win-win, but first steps first.

Lolwut. Mars started out selling bootlegs you know. So from a historical standpoint music was not "at first ... all DRM." Or you could be saying something like what I was trying to tell you, that DRM is only a knee-jerk reaction, poorly conceived precursor to a better distribution system. In which case you agree with me and thank you.

You also claim to support the measures the author suggested for vendors in the article so again why the false compromise? Because...


But this, my friend, is a form of DRM. And it's a fair DRM, too.
If it wasn't DRMd, you would be able to play online, no?
So obviously there is some sort of DRM, but it's kind of fair, don't you agree?

That is the kind of DRM that we might hope to get and accept.

What I described is not DRM. DRM is...


Digital rights management (DRM) is a generic term that refers to access control technologies that can be used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders and individuals to impose limitations on the usage of digital content and devices. The term is used to describe any technology which makes the unauthorized use of such digital content and devices technically formidable, but generally doesn't include other forms of copy protection which can be circumvented without modifying the file or device, such as serial numbers or keyfiles. It can also refer to restrictions associated with specific instances of digital works or devices.
The spawn system can be circumvented by simply burning a copy, meaning the spawn system merely unplugged some of the code. I would also debate whether some validation schemes are really DRM at all as they are excused by the wiki's definition. We are all worried about the worst examples so the kind of pleading you're doing strikes me as bizarre.

The thing is if a reasonable ecosystem is put in place, while you could cheat, most people won't, so special technologies are not needed. Don't install ........ to my drive, period, don't sell me a rental as a release.

VirtualAce
05-18-2009, 05:01 PM
That's a bold statement for someone whose signature (inaccurately) quotes Benjamin Franklin.


I was not intending to quote exactly a historical person. Making the claim that since my quote is in your eyes stolen somehow invalidates my point of view is a bit illogical. In fact it's a bit of a personal attack because you obviously could not come up with something concrete to rebuttal me with so why not devalue the person making the claims. Are you sure you aren't running for office somewhere?

Elysia
05-19-2009, 02:34 AM
Fine, fine, fine. Believe whatever you want.
Nevertheless, it's still DRM to me because technically it is a sort of Digital Rights Management.

abachler
05-19-2009, 03:12 AM
Neo1 is right about this. I've heard that many people download cracks for their legit games because of annoying DRMs.

I have done this on several occasions. Zeus was one notable example, the program simply would not run on my system, so I installed a crack and it worked perfectly. Diablo II also had DRM issues, both these games are old, but the newer stuff also causes problems. While I no longer downlaod cracks, for technical not moral reasons, When I encounter these malware programs, I simply note ther company that published them, and find out their parent company, then I stop buying products from them. I spend a lot of money on games each year, I dont have time to bother with fascist game companies screwing up my system so they can increae sales by 1%. I think they need to be held liable for the effects their faulty software has. If I buy a car and the car explodes adn burns my house to the ground the car company is held liable, but if their software crashes my systemand causes me to lose 2 years fo research, they cant be sued for that loss.

whiteflags
05-19-2009, 05:26 AM
Fine, fine, fine. Believe whatever you want.
Nevertheless, it's still DRM to me because technically it is a sort of Digital Rights Management.
If it's DRM, then I guess trial ware and minimal installs are also DRM, because that's what I was talking about. Missing features is not DRM.

Elysia
05-19-2009, 08:33 AM
They might be. But I'm now going to claim I know the definition of them.
If there is any restrictions on a game, then I would consider it DRM.

abachler
05-19-2009, 08:41 AM
I propose as a general definition of DRM within the context of cboard -

DRM - Any feature or aspect of a software system which is not strictly necessary to perform the core functionality of the software and has as a primary intent the limitation on use by persons or entities which have not purchased a copy from the copyright holder and may or may not have made any extraordinary effort to circumvent said feature.

I think that should cover all known forms of copy protection.

brewbuck
05-19-2009, 11:49 AM
DRM is unacceptable unless it's perfect. I think it's funny how all people do is whine when the products they paid for stop functioning because of DRM related issues. Why aren't you suing somebody?

Back when I did play games, I would just download them. It's not that I didn't want to pay, it's that I knew that even if I did pay I would still have issues with the copyright controls. It is far easier to get a version with these "features" removed. And if you're going to do that... why bother with the "paying for it" part?

Later on, I realized how ethically stupid that was, and stopped playing games altogether.

I don't download MP3s either. If it's not on the radio, I don't hear it.

Treat me like an honest man, take my money and give me a product that works, and I'll buy it every time.