EA To Require Internet Connection For Command & Conquer

from the but-why? dept

A bunch of folks have been sending in this story that EA has said that, while it won't have DRM, on Command and Conquer 4, it will require an internet connection to play, and this already has people up in arms. The company is quick to say that this is so it can include certain useful features, but it still is upsetting people. It's hard to believe that EA wouldn't realize this would be an issue. Why not offer an "offline" version with limited features then? While, yes, we have reached an online world where most people are online most of the time, not everyone is online all of the time, and some of that offline time is time when people might like playing a video game...


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  1.  
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    Nobody, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 3:46am

    That still sucks

    Requiring an on-line connection to play a game "solo" is stupid. You really do limit a lot of potential buyers with that.

    I spent a bit over 20 years in the Navy, most of it on submarines. Now granted, I did not have a whole lot of down time, but when I did it was nice to do something relaxing.

    I like to play video games, but you certainly do not have the ability to connect to the internet when you are deployed, whether on a sub or a target (surface ship).

     

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    Designerfx (profile), Jul 16th, 2009 @ 4:14am

    see, starts with blizzard

    one major company does it and now expect everyone to follow suit. They just don't like people being able to, you know, use a lan.

    Watch a single lan try to get 10 or 20 steam copies authorized to go offline legitimately, man is it a pain in the ass.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 4:22am

    C&C died when they included DRM in C&C3, So with this info I see C&C4 is also as good as DEAD on ARRIVAL.

    WAKE UP EA!

     

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  4.  
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    Ilfar, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 4:23am

    Mobile internet

    My poor 512Mb a month mobile broadband limit, it has enough trouble with just basic web-browsing! :(

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 4:28am

    EA = Extra Assinine

     

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  6.  
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    Peter, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 4:57am

    EA killing the PC gaming industry one game at a time.

    After the massive Spore backlash, they do even worse this time.

    This is not about piracy, this is about a model change, they are moving to software rental model instead of ownership, so you can't resell it.


    In EAs perfect world, you will need a retina scan to authorize and then debit your credit card each time you play.

    The "online" stats explanation, is just a BS cover excuse for what is really going on.

     

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  7.  
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    Wally, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 5:02am

    well then

    another reason for me to never buy another command and conquer game. Red Alert was nifty, but I'm fairly sure if EA's gonna pull that shit I don't need it.

     

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  8.  
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    mrshl, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 5:06am

    People need to stop with the whining.

    They really do. If EA's decision is so dumb, the market will tell them and they'll do something else.

    My guess is the marketplace has already confirmed what these few whiners are really bitching about: they don't matter.

     

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  9.  
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    Workingindust, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 5:26am

    I was a hardcore C&C gamer...

    but like A.C. above said. Ever since C&C3's DRM BS this series of games is DOA. Pity though, I really liked the series, and just when you think EA was starting to get it they do crap like this.

    My question is - What about the soldiers and civilians serving overseas that don't have a 'always on internet connection'??? They're loosing out on potentially thousands of individual sales. C&C3 was a pretty good game for LAN parties when we could do em. Looks like we'll have to find something else.

     

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  10.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Jul 16th, 2009 @ 5:31am

    Another Example of Exessive Reach

    TechDirt has reported how Walmart, Yahoo, and Microsoft proposed turning off their music servers. Recently TechDirt also report how Apple as "disabling" iTunes access for the Palm Pre. The proposal of EA to require internet access is another example of how companies seek a mechanism to disable, at their whim, the products that you have bought.

    When we buy a product, we gain a property right to use the product. Companies should recognize this an not hide behind ridiculous assertions that they are "leasing" or "licensing" the use of the product.

     

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  11.  
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    Nomoney to EA, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 5:31am

    I want to buy a game that I can only play as long as I pay for an Internet connection. And what if I want to play it 10 years from now. Are they still going to have whatever system up that my game needs to run? Luckily I'm sure there will be a crack for this in no time.

     

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  12.  
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    Chargone (profile), Jul 16th, 2009 @ 5:39am

    please please please please

    tell me someone has a plan for dealing this stupidity.

    preferably one involving pitchforks, flaming torches, and the occasional trebuchet.



    a battleship is fine too.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 5:39am

    crack = DONT FUCKING PLAY THIER CRAP!

     

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  14.  
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    PopeRatzo, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 5:57am

    Here's the solution

    Instead of running out and buying the game, just wait until there's a scene release with a crack. Then, when ReLOADED or AVENGER or one of those crazy groups releases the game with a crack, you'll be able to try it out and see if the crack works. THEN you can buy the game (if you want), and not until then. You might have to wait a few months, but believe me, there will be other great games out at the time to keep you busy. EA will just have to wait. Call it punishment for doing what consumers don't like.

    When a company does something that you don't like, the only solution is to not buy their product

     

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  15.  
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    Rajio, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 5:59am

    Sollution

    It's simple really. If a company makes a product which you don't want, just don't buy it. TA DA!

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 6:02am

    Re: People need to stop with the whining.

    The "whiners" largely know this. The problem is more that something they had been looking forward to for over a year (several in some cases; ala StarCraft II) and spent a lot of time talking about how awesome it will be all the sudden is ruined and for no valid reason.

    There is not *1* reason why you CAN'T have an "offline" or "LAN" play mode. The reasons these companies give for having it be "online" do not exclude an offline mode, they actually have to go out of their way to make a game that CAN'T be played without an Internet connection. So now you got the people whom you trusted to Do The Right Thing with a fictional world you had come to love betraying you and ruining it.

    Personally I think people have a right to complain about this. Capitalism is all fine and dandy but can't preempt anything. The only powers consumers have in a capitalist market are reactionary.

     

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  17.  
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    James, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 6:12am

    Re: Another Example of Exessive Reach

    I absolutely agree with you, and think EA has completely lost their minds. But, it is also up to the market to help sway these things and it starts by NOT BUYING products from companies that do this sort of thing. I refuse to buy an ipod, a kindle or any drm-crippled content for precisely the reason you state.

    Legally we may be licensing/leasing software/music/intellectual property, etc., but once a person's money is spent on something (for them) its tantamount to ownership and they are going to want to do with it as they please.
    If the company or the item purchased interferes with that then you are shooting yourself in the foot... in EA's and Apple's case, I hope in the head.

     

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  18.  
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    tell your friends, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 6:18am

    This could stop

    It looks like most people on here are interested in actually purchasing the game. If we as a society discouraged our friends from violating copyright laws this would be less of an issue. When our friends do this stuff, tell us about it and we say nothing, we are almost condoning their actions. They do not want to have to tick off their customers. If you do not like the price, do what I do. I get all the cool games just a little while later when the price drops.

     

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  19.  
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    Newb, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 6:20am

    Re: Sollution

    Then they blame the lack of sales are due to piracy.
    Sick cycle and all lies.

     

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  20.  
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    John Conners, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 6:22am

    Exploitation of unused CPU cycles...

    Skynet is pleased.

     

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  21.  
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    MBraedley (profile), Jul 16th, 2009 @ 6:29am

    It's a bad idea

    And the perfect example of why this is a bad idea is someone who is waiting for their internet to be hooked up won't be able to play the game. I've been there. When I first moved into my apartment I hadn't had time to make an installation appointment for an early install, and thus had to wait several weeks for my internet (I ended up going with the prime competitor from who I first contacted, but that's irrelevant). Luckily someone had an unsecured wifi network, but unfortunately, my connection was flaky at best (assuming I managed to connect in the first place). Suffice it to say, Steam doesn't like it if there's no internet connection and it's set to online mode (one of the first things I did after connecting to this network), so I was unable to play any of my Steam games until I was able to set Steam back to offline mode, something that couldn't be done without an internet connection.

     

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  22.  
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    JustMe, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 6:31am

    Unfortunate that EA is killing every single property

    Wife is a big SIMS fan. Right now her CD and DVD drives are completely unusable because of the SIMS 2 DRM. They can read the SIMS CDs just fine but can't be used for anything else. Now she can't watch DVDs on her machine. Or install another game. Ever. Unless she manually removes your DRM. Nice one EA. Excellent plan. Makes me want to never buy another EA product for any platform.

    Was looking forward to Spore. Even bought two copies of the demo (me + wife) because the DRM only allowed a single install per key. And your damn DRM horked my computer too. Got rid of that stuff PDQ.

    Used to play C&C back in the day. Then you found DRM. End of story.

    Why, oh why, do you not treat us like customers? Most people are going to buy the game. Some people, who wouldn't have bought the game anyway, may find a pirate copy. That isn't depriving you of money. All you are doing is driving away the people who want to pay for your product. Also, from what I read it doesn't take the pirates long to break your DRM.

    So here is a suggestion. Quit spending money on DRM and lower the price of your games by the same amount. Remember Econ 101? The price/demand curves? A lower price means that more people will choose to buy your game than to pirate it.

     

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  23.  
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    clearly a piracy issue, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 6:32am

    Re: Re: Sollution

    I do not want to defend EA. I am a racing fan and they destroyed the online racing community for new NASCAR games. However, I see piracy as the precipitating event here. I agree, if you do not like the scheme do not but it. but don't steal it either.

     

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  24.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 16th, 2009 @ 6:55am

    Re: Unfortunate that EA is killing every single property

    "her CD and DVD drives are completely unusable because of the SIMS 2 DRM. They can read the SIMS CDs just fine but can't be used for anything else. Now she can't watch DVDs on her machine. Or install another game. Ever. Unless she manually removes your DRM."

    Do you have something you can cite on this DRM, since it must have happened elsewhere (unless EA is purposefully targeting your wife). I'm 2 cups of coffee deep and enjoy getting my blood boiling at the beginning of the day, so if you could provide any reading material....

     

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  25.  
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    minijedimaster (profile), Jul 16th, 2009 @ 7:01am

    Re: This could stop

    I get all the cool games just a little while later when the price drops.

    Whether you pay $50 for C&C4 or $5 you still can't play it without an internet connection. Nor can you play it in years to come when they decide to shutdown their servers down due to lack of people on them. Either way you wasted your money, just less of it.

     

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  26.  
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    EA: bork everything, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 7:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Sollution

    Nah, though that is what they'll claim, that and trying to prevent cheating.

    It's all about preventing resale of games, of which they get no cut. And less for more.

    Regarding those in the service, EA went through this already with Mass Effect for PC (single player with no online component), which used Securom, 3 activations only (no revoke tool at the time) and was going to reauthenticate online every 10 days or your game wouldn't play. They dropped the 10 day auth cycle part before release, perhaps the servicepeople angle had something to do with it.

    Hopefully that'll happen with this game too, but it rather points to EA being unable to learn a simple fact: the more of a pain in the ass you make your games to obtain or maintain, the less you sell.

    Try selling games instead of preventing resale, EA.

     

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  27.  
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    minijedimaster (profile), Jul 16th, 2009 @ 7:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Sollution

    But here's the thing. The game with or without this "feature" will be pirated no matter what. Just like every game out there is. Instead of PISSING OFF your LEGIT CUSTOMERS, how about the company focuses on taking care of paying customers and giving them a product they WANT to pay for?!

    I know! Novel idea, but someone had to come up with it. Oh wait, that's right someone did...Stardock and companies like them. Go figure. That's what this is all really about, focus on paying customers and taking care of them, NOT the pirates. Because now I can pirate this game and get a BETTER product than I could if I had bought it.

    EPIC FAIL

     

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  28.  
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    Snowdog, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 7:13am

    It's not whining, it's informing the sheeple.

    To those that say stop whining.

    It isn't whining. It is getting the word out. The informed and engaged section of the population is in the minority. By taking to message boards to get the word and hopefully spreading the word on Review boards like Amazon again (remember Spore) we can inform the masses (AKA Sheeple).

    Certainly those of us in the know won't buy and support this attempt at over arching control, but we are attempting to do more and get the word out so less sheeple support it as well.

    In any battle like this getting the sheeple onside is important.

     

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  29.  
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    Logo, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 7:48am

    Do not purchase games that violate the PC gamer's bill of rights. http://www.gamepolitics.com/2008/08/29/stardock-releases-gamer039s-bill-rights-pax

    It's justifiable that some people would show say stop whining as some people are but there's plenty of people, like this post, that's just trying to get the word out so people know not to buy.

     

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  30.  
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    Jeremy, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 8:14am

    Haxed copys FTW

    just wait till a group like RELOADED get their hands on it and we will have a offline version of the game within days. enough said.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 8:53am

    EA, you bunch of idiots. I know you're used to half-assing things thanks to all of those yearly updates to your old sports games, but come on! I thought you were at least smarter than this.

     

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  32.  
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    JustMe, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 9:05am

    Re: Dark Helmet

    Certainly. The Sims 2: Bon Voyage is when they included SecuROM copy protection.

    "SecuROMâ„¢ technology suppresses CD-ROM to CD-R copying, DVD-ROM to DVD-R copying, Internet image distribution, and professional piracy."
    https://support.securom.com/faq_general.html#1.2

    Notice how the statements in these two sections are carefully crafted and loaded with fluffy happy words. They don't clearly mention that they hook the drivers for these devices and deny users legitimate, non-piracy, uses.

    https://support.securom.com/faq_general.html#1.9
    https://support.securom.com/faq_general.h tml#1.10

    Their definition of 'hacking' software includes normal & legit uses of the drives, such as creating a family photo album on CDROM or using any of the "-R" features. And, apparently, it also includes industry (music) CDs purchased from the store and industry (movie) DVDs purchased from the store.

    I'm willing to admit that machines are different, and YMMV, but I'm hardly a lone voice spitting in the void here.

    http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=Bon+Voyage+drm&aq=f&oq=&aqi=&fp=KxYPMM6r 3XA

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/98480-13-denies-problems-sims

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wi ki/SecuROM

    http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=securom+vista&aq=f&oq=&aqi=g3&fp=Kx YPMM6r3XA

    http://bbs.thesims2.ea.com/community/bbs/messages.php?threadID=10427e440577fa3b3bdcf644 8dc308c8&directoryID=211&startRow=1&openItemID=item.211,root.1,item.61,item.23

     

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  33.  
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    rubberpants, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 9:15am

    This is about money

    They see the bank Blizzard is making with WoW. They're trying to make every game have the piracy resilience and subscription potential like an MMO, even if it isn't. Expect to see this happen to tons of games in the future.

     

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  34.  
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    Paul Brinker, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 9:17am

    Anoyed Service Members

    Back in the old days... the really old days we had games like Warcraft 2 that could spawn Multiplayer copys of the game. One of the best games for this was Total Annihilation where you needed 1 CD for every 3 players(and you got 2 "game" CDs). This system was great, I could Log onto TEN and as a paid owner of the game I was able to start games and only needed a CD in the drive. I then had a huge community where some never paid for the game. but you know what, that meant I had people to fight against for a much longer time then Command and Conquer games that required a CD for each running game.

    Now the long term side effect of this was a vary robust multiplayer aspect that was worth the cost of the game.

    After that the "spawn a copy" model went away as game studios got mad that PC players could get one game per household and have fun (or small lan party).

    Now Blizzard did a great job with Warcraft III in that the online game is so great that not being able to go onto battle net is tantamount to not being able to play over 3/4ths of the game BUT the single player part is still great and you can still do a lan game for inter house party's.

    So because of greed I cant play games with my friends with out several hundred dollars in CDs. AND I cant run a LAN game at all. Sorry but sometimes the old ideas were the best (community over greed)

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 10:06am

    Re: People need to stop with the whining.

    One man can make a difference. The sheep will always say that "whiners don't matter". In fact, these "whiners" bring up things so that the sheep will become aware of them, and maybe break out of their sheep-like stupor.

     

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  36.  
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    brent (profile), Jul 16th, 2009 @ 10:08am

    simple to put, i was not planning on buying this game and if the opportunity came up that on a whim i'd want to buy it (for some reason or another), after reading this article i dont think that whim will ever come.

     

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  37.  
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    R. Miles (profile), Jul 16th, 2009 @ 10:38am

    Re: It's not whining, it's informing the sheeple.

    It isn't whining. It is getting the word out.
    While I can agree with some of this statement, the fact boils down most people here *are* whining.

    One poster said it best: Don't like it? Don't buy it. Let EA spin the lack of sales all they want, but customers will respond quickly by stating it isn't piracy, but the bullshit implemented within the game.

    EA has been going down hill for quite some time, and I've yet to purchase a game from them in a very long time. With so many options out there, missing a few titles hasn't phased me one bit.

    Reading the comments to this reminds me of those people who whine about Apple's decisions yet flock to be the first in line for the latest over-priced gizmo offered.

    My choice not to purchase doesn't make a dent against all the people out there who continue to support these idiotic decisions with purchases.

    So understand why *I* see it as whining and not "getting the word out", especially after a purchase.

     

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  38.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 16th, 2009 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Dark Helmet

    Sorry if I came off sounding like I was challenging your claim. I wasn't, I just wanted to read the material. Not being a Sims player and only liking the baseball games from EA sports (none since 2005, wtf is up with that?), I wasn't familiar with the material.

     

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    yozoo, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 11:18am

    I doubt it

    even EA is not stupid enough to release a game with a built in limitation like this . . .

     

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    JustMe, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 11:23am

    Re: Dark Helmet

    No worries. Half my job is research so it looked like I was working!

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 11:35am

    Re: This could stop

    Go back to EA you fucking shill.

    This has nothing to do with society, and has everything to do with an archaic company that has been infected with greed and is taking draconian actions to restrict after-market sales; and is now suffering the consequences.

     

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  42.  
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    Griffon, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 3:27pm

    long time coming

    Most gamers have been watching this slow bomb dropping for years. Ever since the first boxed MMO's came out and companies stared fascinated how they could sell you a box, then make you pay monthly to use the software. Since that day they have been tiptoeing towards this kind of scene where they can end run around piracy by forcing perpetual connections. What will be fun to watch is how this starts to tie in to tiered pricing and bandwidth. This is the publishers wet dream, to tie the drm to the cloud accounts so they don't have to pay out on disk DRM but can still charge full retail for a box.
    The only defense is if consumers turn up their noses or the pirates break hook and there is massive infringement vs. low sales, either way people will be voting with their dollars. If the game dose well this will get pushed as the new standard.

     

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    Nick Stevens (profile), Jul 16th, 2009 @ 3:53pm

    Pirated version will be better

    I'm finding it so annoying lately that all the games I want to purchase keep coming out with stupid things like this.
    All it means to me is that instead of handing over my hard earned cash to the company, instead i'll probably download a copy which has been cracked to enable offline play.

    Starcraft 2 has stated that they will not alloy Lan play without first connecting to the internet as well - it's so frustrating but the only thing i can do in protest is not buy the game, I suggest others do the same, hit them where it hurts.. in their pocket.

     

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    CN, Jul 16th, 2009 @ 5:18pm

    Constant connection = no sale

    I've been buying fewer and fewer games. The more hoops I have to jump through, the less I want to part with my hard earned dollars.

    Every sale lost to their lunacy will most likely be thought to be the result of piracy. The problem with "voting with your wallet" is that there is not a YES-NO vote. It is only YES or ABSTAIN, and when you abstain, they don't know it.

    I work offshore on ships and rigs, and I can't get online. I do most of my gaming at the end of my work day offshore, not when I am home.

     

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  45.  
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    Sodoshi, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 6:22am

    DRM = Dirty Rotten Mongrels

    DRM annoys me. Once I bought Civ3, and it was completely unplayable due to DRM. Would install, but crashed on running. On three separate computers... Eventually just d/l a cracked copy of it, just to play what I had *payed* for!

    So yeah, DRM is pointless when the paying people cannot use the product, and the ones getting it for free can!

     

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  46.  
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    Judicatus, Aug 15th, 2009 @ 2:58am

    GTA IV

    EA's full of SH(T.

    Have enough crap with microsofts live bullshit all over my GTA IV..."You must be logged in to save your game"...WHAT?!

    I'm on cable...yes...but my desktop goes with me on the road...so im sitting in utah on a job with no internet and im screwed out of my $50 game until I go back home in 4-8 months each job? Lol no...f**k that with EA, they better learn from peoples bitchin!

    I setup gta...dandy...activated...loading...OH BUT WAIT...THERES MORE...SIGN UP FOR A LIVE ACCOUNT NOW...(look for do later type button...fine print: Needed for all types of game saves...whhhhhhaaaatttttttt?! Yeah, it seems like nothing now...just wait till they require more...and moreeeee...and eventually were in the matrix powering EA's servers...Lol

     

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  47.  
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    lan player, Oct 1st, 2009 @ 1:42pm

    Re: c&c red alert 3 de-auth tool and LAN

    Is it possible to use the ea de-authorization tool on my pc (cos ive reached max installs thanks to dying hdd's) and still play LAN games? i mean with one de-authorized machine and one still authorized. looked all over and find conflicting stories so askin cos i dont want to be left without my LAN gaming.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 2:30pm

    Re: I was a hardcore C&C gamer...

    Don't worry, they're not losing any customers, they just have a bunch of buyers like myself who will waste money on a game that they will quickly realize they can never play. Way to think this through EA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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