EA: 99.8 percent of gamers don't care about DRM

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Guru3D News, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. Stukov

    Stukov Ancient Guru

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    So, you bought a steam game through another service I take it?
     
  2. Keitosha

    Keitosha Ancient Guru

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    Paying games on Steam can be done with credit cards and for those who can't get a credit card easily (like here in The Netherlands, getting a credit card is much harder than in the USA) there's a company called ClickandBuy, which can withdraw money directly from your bank account to Valve.
    With my last purchase C&B was too slow in paying Valve and Valve got angry and thought i was a thief of course, trying to pirate their games or trying to commit fraud, and they just banned my account, losing 101 games.

    Also since i almost only buy games via Steam (i hate going outside from shop to shop telling me they don't have the game i want in stock or whatever and the $-€ exchange rate was in favor for us in the Euro zone) i lost alot of games this way.

    This crap makes me think of dropping PC gaming now. I even started using my Wii and X360 again.

    C&B is at fault and i'm the one being punished. According to some guys on the Steam forums it is nearly impossible to get back your account, whatever the reason is.
    Either way this is not helping them (Valve) and the're avoiding any attempt to make contact! At least E.T. responded! :puke2:
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  3. weston

    weston Ancient Guru

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    I have never had a problem with steam by using a debit card. I've bought many games from them, and not had a single problem.

    Orange box
    Assassin's creed
    GRID
    Id pack
    Audiosurf

    I've found the online store to me easier to use than buying a disc and installing. Although this would not work well in countries with data transfer limits, it works great in the US.

    looks like I'm one of the 0.2% that cares about DRM.
     
  4. Keitosha

    Keitosha Ancient Guru

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    I never had a problem as well until now. Nothing was changed with my C&B account and there was more than enough money on my bank account. Always worked before and now i have to pay the price.

    Valve is not responsive.

    EDIT: YES!!! I just checked Steam again and my account is enabled again. :banana:
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008

  5. biggerx

    biggerx Ancient Guru

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    The amount of misguided & uninformed rhetoric in this thread is amazing. It's like everyone is just typing what they've heard on the internet & we all know how reliable the internet can be. I thought us Guru's were a little smarter than this.
     
  6. roguesn1per

    roguesn1per Ancient Guru

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    That what im trying to argue....this DRM war is way out of proportion to what it really is
     
  7. dukedave5200

    dukedave5200 Ancient Guru

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    I think one thing that people miss a lot or get confused about is when you buy a game you really are just buying a license that gives you the right to install/play the game. You aren't really buying any software or digital bits - in a sense you are just borrowing the software while the license gives you the right to use it. And those companies can have any rules or EULA that describe what your license enables you.

    Most people seem to think that if they buy a cd that they own the software on the cd... This isn't the case at all...
     
  8. MadGizmo

    MadGizmo Maha Guru

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    That doesn't give them the right to cripple games and your machine.
     
  9. Stormyandcold

    Stormyandcold Ancient Guru

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    Just get rid of all DRM, make all non-mmorpg games £20 new, £10-15 after 6months, give us a serial for each game and be done. Piracy can't be tackled and if these companies want to keep their disc business then they're going to have to change with the times.

    Music and films have had to cut prices, so will games. The perceived worth of entertainment has gone down due to over-whelming choice and downloads.

    Heck, theres more and more "free" games available all the time, whether thats home-brew, past commercial releases or online (e.g. Gridwars 2, Area 51, full spectrum warrior, command and conquer: red alert, project torque, fear combat etc and thats just windows!). Then theres the mame arcade emulation scene and it's kin. You could spend months/years just playing old arcade games!

    We are a generation who have been spoilt and continue to be spoilt by the quality of games. Unfortunately, this leads to immense pressure on companies to sell their games which is why we have the DRM situation.

    Price is their only changable variable so it's up to these companies like EA to make it cheap enough for wide-spread adoption of their software. The customers aren't going to change first unfortunately.
     
  10. dukedave5200

    dukedave5200 Ancient Guru

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    Hmmm... I never said it did... but by agreeing to their EULA they can pretty much do whatever they want to their software on your computer. It's a persons right to not agree to the EULA or buy the software/license in the first place.

    With that said, there is a line that can be crossed and it may take the courts to sort this all out.
     

  11. MadGizmo

    MadGizmo Maha Guru

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    They do cripple games. And your machine. Or do you think that Tages doesn't cause any stuttering, or rootkits don't harm performance, or requiring an internet connection doesn't limit the way you want to play, or that needing a disc in your DVD drive doesn't wear out that disk, or that disabling legal copy programs because you installed their game is OK? And so on, and so on.
     
  12. biggerx

    biggerx Ancient Guru

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    Mad, Give me proof that any of these (Tages, SecuROM, Steam) install rootkits. Oh and while you're at it why don't you explain to all of us Gurus what a rootkit is, in your own words, without copying & pasting from Wikipedia. Please Please Please!!!

    Also I don't know what kind of DVD drives u use, but none of my games have a single scratch on them after years of use. You must be playing frisbe with yours.

    Like I said empty rhetoric that is being copy & pasted.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  13. MadGizmo

    MadGizmo Maha Guru

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    BTW: To read that EULA I need to open the package. After that most shops don't allow me to bring that game back if I don't agree with that EULA. If I need to send it back to an online shop I probably need to pay for shipping.
     
  14. biggerx

    biggerx Ancient Guru

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    All of the EULA's are readily available online from any of the game makers. Your excuse is stupid. If you really wanted to disagree with the EULA BEFORE you buy the game you'd get it from the maker, read it, then make your decision. Just another excuse.
     
  15. biggerx

    biggerx Ancient Guru

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    This is from Stardock's Customer Report 2008 (Makers of Sins of A Solar Empire & Galactic Civilizations)

    I 100% Agree with everything they say in their stance on DRM. You all should read it and quit being whiny little "you know what's"


    Policy on DRM
    Digital Rights Management is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the industry. DRM has become a catch-phrase for basically any type of copy protection. Stardock’s position isn’t anti-DRM or anti-copy protection but rather anti-stupid-DRM and anti-stupid-copy protection. Broadly speaking, Stardock’s position is that companies/individuals have every right to protect their intellectual property any way they want. However, we feel the most effective way to increase sales is to protect IP in a way that doesn’t seem to punish legitimate customers. Stardock’s software and games don’t require users to keep their CDs in the drive for instance. That only punishes legitimate customers. It’s annoying to keep track of a CD and a pirate certainly doesn’t have to worry about that since they’re running a cracked version. So you actually end up better off if you’re a pirate. Similarly, DRM that has arbitrary activation limits for the lifetime of a product are counter-productive. A pirate doesn’t have to worry about such limitations because they’re running a cracked version. Yet the legitimate customer is stuck in the situation where they can’t use a game or program because, a year later, they’ve bought a new PC and run out of activations. That’s madness.
    Customer concerns: Legitimate and illegitimate
    There is no solution to the issue of protecting intellectual property (IP) that will satisfy all parties. There are customers who will accept nothing less than publishers acquiescing to a quasi-honor system for purchasing software. That doesn’t work. At the other end of the spectrum, there are publishers who want customers to have an always-on Internet connection to play a single-player game. They have every right to require this if they want, but it will cost them tremendously in terms of goodwill and sales. So what are the issues people have with DRM?
     Legitimate complaint: They don’t want the copy protection to interfere with their enjoyment or use of the software or game.
     Legitimate complaint: If a program wants to have a limited activation system, then it needs to provide a way to de-authorize other computers (ala iTunes).
     Legitimate complaint: A program should not be installing drivers or other hidden files on the system that use system resources.
    Stardock Customer Report 2008 15
     Legitimate complaint: Activation-based DRM means that if the publisher goes out of business or simply stops supporting their content that the customer can no longer use their legally purchased item.
     Legitimate complaint: Having an arbitrarily low limit on personal activations makes the program feel like it’s being rented.
     Legitimate complaint: Requiring the user to always be online to play a single-player game. Though we do think publishers have the right to require this as long as they make it clear on the box.
     Borderline: Requiring the user to have an Internet connection to install a game. If the game makes this explicit on the box, that’s one thing. Customers should be able to make informed purchasing decisions.
     Illegitimate complaint: Keeps people from installing the program on as many PCs as they own. I own an office full of PCs. I don’t think Microsoft would be happy if I installed Office on all of them. If I’m only using one of those machines at a time, that’s fine.
     Illegitimate complaint: Keeps people from easily having LAN parties with one copy of their game. We allow this but demonizing publishers who frown on this seems unreasonable.
     Illegitimate complaint: Requires people to get updates through a specific source (Steam, Impulse, publisher secure website, etc.). This is one of our biggest pet peeves. If a game ships and there’s some bug found that materially affects gameplay, then sure, put out a patch wherever. However, we’ve had users complain loudly that Sins of a Solar Empire v1.1 (essentially a free expansion pack) requires Impulse to download. Publishers have every right to make sure the people downloading updates are legitimate customers.
     Illegitimate complaint: Makes it harder for people to resell programs. (Not saying reselling programs is right or wrong, only that it is not the function of DRM to make it hard or easy to do this, it’s a separate issue.)
     Illegitimate complaint: DRM is just wrong in principle, you buy something, you own it and should be able to do whatever you want. This is a view held by some but the person who makes the thing has the right to distribute it how they want. If I spend $5 million making a game, someone paying $50 doesn’t “own” it. There has to be some middle ground on serving customers and protecting IP holders. Users who disagree and want to stick with this principle have my respect but we believe a balance needs to be made that is satisfactory to most users and most publishers.
    Stardock’s position is that IP holders have the right to do whatever they want with their IP. That doesn’t mean what they do is necessarily a good idea or good business. For our games, we will continue the policy of releasing our retail games without any copy protection or DRM on the disc. However, we will require customers who want updates to download them from us and to make sure those updates are meaningful – not just bug fixes but actual improvements based on player feedback.
    Stardock Customer Report 2008 16
    On other games, we think it’s legitimate if publishers want to require activation to install them. I don’t pretend to know whether the sales lost by users who have no Internet connection is greater than the sales gained from less piracy. I don’t think there’s any problem requiring a user to type in a unique serial number on installing a program. We do think there’s a problem having a user be told they can’t use a program anymore because they installed it three or five times over the course of a year – and this isn’t an obscure problem. There’s plenty of software, not just games, where this has become a significant and obnoxious issue. We are going to add IP protection services to the Impulse Reactor platform so that publishers at least have an alternative to methods like SecureROM, Tages or Steamworks. As a practical matter, most game publishers who want to protect their IP have few options right now.

    The Gamers Bill of Rights
    In August Stardock and its development partners announced the Gamers Bill of Rights initiative. The idea was to try to get the PC game industry to standardize on a set of principles that we can abide by to improve the customer experience. Below are the 10 principles as originally posted:
    1) Gamers shall have the right to return games that don't work with their computers for a full refund.
    2) Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state.
    3) Gamers shall have the right to expect meaningful updates after a game's release.
    4) Gamers shall have the right to demand that download managers and updaters not force themselves to run or be forced to load in order to play a game.
    5) Gamers shall have the right to expect that the minimum requirements for a game will mean that the game will play adequately on that computer.
    6) Gamers shall have the right to expect that games won't install hidden drivers or other potentially harmful software without their consent.
    7) Gamers shall have the right to re-download the latest versions of the games they own at any time.
    8) Gamers shall have the right to not be treated as potential criminals by developers or publishers.
    9) Gamers shall have the right to demand that a single-player game not force them to be connected to the Internet every time they wish to play.
    10) Gamers shall have the right that games which are installed to the hard drive shall not require a CD/DVD to remain in the drive to play.
    Since then, we have had an amazing level of support from the publisher and developer community. However, to move forward, we need to get more specific to get to a place that most users and most publishers can agree on. Below is an interim edition based on that initial feedback.
    Stardock Customer Report 2008 17
    1. Gamers shall have the right to return games that are incompatible or do not function at a reasonable level of performance for a full refund within a reasonable amount of time.
    2. Gamers shall have the right that games they purchase shall function as designed without defects that would materially affect the player experience.
    3. Gamers shall have the right that games will receive updates that address minor defects as well as improves game play based on player feedback within reason.
    4. Gamers shall have the right to have their games not require a third-party download manager installed in order for the game to function.
    5. Gamers shall have the right to have their games perform adequately if their hardware meets the posted minimum requirements.
    6. Gamers shall have the right not to have any of their games install hidden drivers.
    7. Gamers shall have the right to re-download the latest version of the games they purchase.
    8. Gamers have the right to use their games without being inconvenienced due to copy protection or digital rights management.
    9. Gamers shall have the right to play single player games without having to have an Internet connection.
    10. Gamers shall have the right to sell or transfer the ownership of a physical copy of a game they own to another person.
    This edition of the Gamers Bill of Rights is still being discussed with various publishers. The goal is to provide more precision in what is and isn’t acceptable. For example, take the issue of digital rights management (DRM), activation, and other methods to protection intellectual property. If a game requires an Internet connection to install, then there should be no problem with Internet-based activation or zero-day file updating since the connection is there. But if a game does update on the first day, then it should provide value-add such as enabling the user to get the latest/greatest edition of the game. If the game does not require an Internet connection to install, then activation or other forms of on-line activation become problematic. Publishers, at some point, will need to make the decision as to whether to require an Internet connection to use the game and if so, put it on the box so users can help make more reasonable purchasing decisions. We also address the issue of being able to resell games. This right, however, needs to be understood in context. The user has the right to sell their physical copy of their game but the publisher is not automatically burdened with creating some sort of user-friendly system. For example, someone may want to sell their physical copy of an MMO but the MMO does not have to allow the user to transfer their MMO character necessarily or if they do support this, they are not required to invest in the creation of some user friendly transfer mechanism that is free to use.
    To use an analogy, a person who buys a book can resell their copy of the book. But they don’t expect the publisher to have to be involved in that transfer. Similarly, if someone wants to physically transfer their
    Stardock Customer Report 2008 18
    ownership of a physical copy of a game, they have the right to do that. But they publisher is not obligated to aid in that transfer. We also clarified the issue about “games being released in a finished state”. PC games are quite occasionally released with defects that materially affect the game experience (i.e. constantly crashing, missing content, etc.). All PC games will have problems on some percentage of users. Materially affecting the game experience means it is a problem that occurs on the majority of user machines and prevents the user from getting the full experience out of the game.
     

  16. F1refly

    F1refly Ancient Guru

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    stardock does well with RTS games since all RTS games sell pretty well on the PC platform anyway regardless not to mention their games have been low budget.
    lets see them make an high budget FPS and check the sales vs pirated. couple of loss revenues would not only put them out of making future games, but the gamers bill of rights would mysteriously dissapear from their site.
     
  17. MadGizmo

    MadGizmo Maha Guru

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    Here is the best documented DRM rootkit to date brought to life by Sony on millions of audio CDs:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Sony_BMG_CD_copy_prevention_scandal

    The rootkit was intended to infect PCs and it did a good job doing exactly that. There are still CDs sold with that same rootkit, because Sony did to take the CDs back after the scandal.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  18. MadGizmo

    MadGizmo Maha Guru

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    StarForce is one of the most aggressive DRM malware to date. You have to get into their terminology to understand what they are talking about:

    http://www.star-force.com/support/drivers/

    Is that proof of a rootkit? Not sure. But they do mess around with the "interaction between the protected application and drivers in programs from other vendors".
     
  19. MountainLynx

    MountainLynx Master Guru

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    I've even heard of people abusing the Sony Rootkit to hide their cheating apps from various anti-cheat software for some online games, and it's remarkably easy to do. Just changing the filename of any file so that the first set of letters match with the outline of the Sony Rootkit will hide the file, even from the system.

    Now imagine a virus, trojan, worm, keylogger, or combination of those that exploits that...
     
  20. stormy

    stormy Ancient Guru

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    And the scary part is who owns/writes SecuROM?
     

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