Crysis 3 Studio Reminds You It Still Owns Your Copy Of The Original Crysis

from the how-nice-of-them dept

Of the many misguided DRM restrictions that software developers have employed over the years, "limited activations" are among the most arbitrary and bizarre. In an attempt to avoid the simple fact that all software is infinitely copiable, developers release software that can only be installed a limited number of times—supposedly striking a balance between multiple legitimate installations (someone with multiple machines, or who simply goes through computers quickly) and the fact that many people will lend the disc to a friend. Of course, such a balance is impossible: there's no upper limit on how many times some purchasers might need to legally install the software, and there's no lower limit on how many additional copies can be allowed before some people will give them away. Any number you choose is at worst completely meaningless, and at best a very weak compromise.

Rikuo sends in a good example of this: to celebrate the release of the game Crysis 3, the studio has raised the activation limit on the original Crysis from 5 to 50. It seems like a nice gesture, but it doesn't really make any sense—why not just remove the limit entirely? The game is nearly four years old and cracked copies are easy enough to obtain, and it seems like they aren't that worried about piracy, since otherwise I don't imagine they'd make the limit so high. But the real slap in the face is that, when you get down to it, this is still them restricting your legitimate use to their arbitrary terms. Rikuo sums it up:

On the surface, this is good news. But, when you stop to think about it, it gets silly. Here's why.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who ran into the limit. Suddenly, this game we had dropped good money on, no longer worked. I and others are constantly swapping in and out PC components, or upgrading to entirely new systems. Each and every time this happens, it eats up an activation. So, for a good while, we had a game that by intentional design, refused to work. Now, all of a sudden, Crytek has graciously said, yes, you can play the game. This is quite simply obnoxious. When you get right down to it, Crytek held our games hostage and only now is letting us play them again.

We are the people who play Crysis on PC. To do so, you need a powerful system. To have a powerful system, we are more than likely the type who are constantly buying new components, buying new systems. We absolutely HATE IT when we have a game that refuses to work simply because we bought one computer too many, or swapped out our graphics card or CPU one too many times. When that happens, we have to spend time hunting down a crack from dodgy websites, virus-scanning them to make sure they're safe and then running them.

Crytek, do not hold our games hostage. It may seem like a good thing that now we can install the game 50 times, but its still a finite limit. Things happen. Windows could crash and I might end up having to reinstall it. I could get new components or a new computer. When considering new purchases, I do not want to have to keep track of how many times I'm allowed to play the games I've bought. I do not want to have to wait for you to say "Oh, ok then, since you've been good and bought Crysis 2, I'll allow you to play the first game again". That is not how it should be. I've already paid for the first game, my ability to run it should not be contingent on the reveal of another game being in development.

Indeed. Once again, the only people the DRM affects are legitimate consumers—and they are forced to dive into the pirate ecosystem for cracks even though they didn't pirate the game. Adding a zero to the already-arbitrary activation limit doesn't mitigate this insult to customers so much as it rubs it in.



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  1.  
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    Anonymous Cowherd, May 22nd, 2012 @ 5:19am

    And of course, if people know they'll have to crack the game anyway, it'll make it all the more convenient to just download a pre-cracked copy in the first place.

     

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    Dr. Evil, May 22nd, 2012 @ 5:22am

    activation limits

    missed is the obvious:
    they didn't change the limit because they were trying to be nice or help the user - they were getting tired of fielding calls (read=pay employees to answer and respond to calls) from legitimate users that were hitting the cap. Raise the cap, cut customer service calls, cut hours needed to answer customer service calls, cut people.

    Is no one thinking about the customer service people (now without jobs) children? what about the children?

     

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    Tritter, May 22nd, 2012 @ 5:27am

    Good point.

    LOL. The one thing that these Game creators must realize which this article perfectly points out:ARTIFICALLY RESTRICTING THE ACTIVATION ONLY HURTS THE LEGITIMATE USERS. Pirates don't give a s**t about these and they just look for cracked versions which makes it the best alternative.

    This is just common sense.I am a college student and I get it. How come these producers who spend tons of money to make a game doesn't get it?

     

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    Tritter, May 22nd, 2012 @ 5:30am

    Good point.

    LOL. The one thing that these Game creators must realize which this article perfectly points out: ARTIFICIALLY RESTRICTING THE ACTIVATION ONLY HURTS THE LEGITIMATE USERS. Pirates don't give a s**t about these and they just look for cracked versions which makes it the best alternative.

    This is just common sense.I am a college student and I get it. How come these producers who spend tons of money to make a game doesn't get it?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 5:32am

    but but but i mustn't lose control of what customers do with my games!!!

    i wonder what these people would say if the same attitude was applied to everything. imagine your car not starting at a set of traffic lights, only to be told that you have used up the number of starts allowed unless you pay for more!

     

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    Digitari, May 22nd, 2012 @ 5:37am

    RE is it only me?

    is not this game just living up to it's name?

     

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    relghuar, May 22nd, 2012 @ 5:39am

    ??

    I don't really see the problem here. Or, actually, I see a completely different one than what you're complaining about.
    If someone built some new appliance, hell let's say a kitchen robot, and would have slapped it with a label "WILL ONLY WORK FOR FIRST 100 MEALS" (or, like, "WILL ONLY WORK WITH FLOUR SUPPLIED EXCLUSIVELY BY US", or "REQUIRES YOU TO CALL OUR SUPPORT AND GET A STARTING CODE EACH TIME YOU WANT TO USE IT" or any such BS) - I'd really want to see the idiot that would actually buy it. I'm pretty sure there wouldn't be that many, and there'd be many companies happy to offer other appliances without any such "features"...
    So, as I see it the real question is - WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING buying such crappy product in the first place? While people're buying it, rest assured they won't have much reason to change anything :-/ And, if people are stupid enough to buy it, obviously it's no big deal...

    PS: sorry for harsh words, I've been thinking the same over quite a few DRM-related articles around here, I suppose now it just "bubbled over".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 5:48am

    Re:

    This is sometihng that I've never understood. If you're worried that people will download the pirated game instead of buying it, why would you place unattractive limits on the paid version?

     

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    MrWilson, May 22nd, 2012 @ 5:49am

    I think this is a side effect of the monopoly on a creative good. Other companies will make microwaves and blenders and other food preparation devices, so you can just go out and buy a different brand if your chosen brand is DRM infected/defective. But no other company will offer a DRM free version of a video game or a movie. There's no true competition when it comes to creative works. If you like a particular artist or writer, you can't just swap out another artist's work as a true substitute. You can't say, "1984 has DRM on it. I'll read a Brave New World instead." It's not a true substitution. This is why entertainment companies collude and form associations like the MPAA and RIAA. They're not really competing with each other and they know it.

     

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    Zos (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 5:49am

    my copy came from the bay. so they can suck it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 5:50am

    Re: activation limits

    Little billy is now a pile of bones in the corner.

    The others....couldn't be identified.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 5:53am

    Re:

    Mine floated to shore in a coconut.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 5:55am

    Re:

    Scumbag.

     

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  14.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 6:02am

    Re:

    One of the amusing things is that some people are already doing this anyway to get round the existing DRM. They will buy the game, download the cracked copy and play away. Of course, game producers start counting that cracked copy as a "lost sale", so introduce more DRM and the cycle continues...

    I doubt DRM has led to any real increase in sales. I have no doubt that sales have been lost to DRM, either to existing competition (indie games, retro games, consoles) or that DRM has been the impetus for them to move to piracy in the first place. If the $60 game you have installed doesn't work and the $0 download does, I'm sure many question why they're paying the money...

     

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    PaulT (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 6:08am

    Re: Re:

    "If you're worried that people will download the pirated game instead of buying it, why would you place unattractive limits on the paid version?"

    They labour under the delusion that by restricting their version of the game, they will place enough of a delay in the pirated version being available that would-be pirates will run to their doors with piles of cash for official copies.

    This doesn't work, and has the unfortunate side-effect of making the paid version *less* valuable than the pirated version for many people (see also: region coding, windowing, etc.). It didn't work when you had to type a code from the manual in the 80s, it doesn't work now when a hardware upgrade or ISP failure can stop you from using your legally purchased product.

     

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    Hypnosis Blogger, May 22nd, 2012 @ 6:15am

    Host taking...

    Hmm... I know another group that takes hostages. We call them terrorists.

    Sadly, we can't waterboard these terrorists - instead, it's best to take the US's stance and NOT NEGOTIATE.

    Stop buying their games. No compromises. No "BUT I REALLLYYY want it!"

    STOP! Anything that has DRM... don't buy it.

    They'll get the hint eventually.... or they'll go out of business and someone else will gobble up the product line.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 6:26am

    Re: Re:

    Respect is earned, not given. If a company wants people to respect their "rights", they have to first learn to respect their customers.

    At the moment, almost every single game publisher (not development house) is extremely anti-customer and the trend the past 10 years is to make that situation worse.

    The game publishers are going to fall over dead now thanks to kickstarters, when the developers will be able to do what the publishers used to do, but for now, the publishers do not deserve respect.

    Do not even bother giving a single publisher a single penny. They do not deserve it. If you want to play a game, go ahead and pirate it, the publishers deserve the disrepect they have earned. If you liked the game, contact the developer and find a way to contribute directly to them, and convince them to part ways with their publisher.

     

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  18.  
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    Drak, May 22nd, 2012 @ 6:26am

    Why not just....

    If they feel they MUST put some sort of DRM on their games there are some really simple ways in which they could accomplish this without setting any arbitrary limits. Of course DRM won't stop anyone who really wants to crack the game, but it will keep the honest people honest, just like my easily bypassed door lock.

    Email activation. The game requests an email account, you give it, your code shows up in email.

    If you're honest, then it's simple enough to perform.
    If you're not honest, you'll just use a disposable email acct.

    Now, they're only momentarily stopping anyone from installing their game repeatedly, but can track which games are being installed repeatedly using the same activation code and can choose to stop an activation code at...say...wait, I was going to say "arbitrary limit" so nvm. Enjoy your day internet people.

     

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    Ed (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 6:27am

    Just don't buy their products. That's a simple and very effective way of telling them you do not want their arcane restrictions. Whining and then giving them your money anyway just says you're a loser.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 6:28am

    Piracy Excuse #37

    "I just want to use the product I bought."

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 6:35am

    These game developers seem to think they are the only game (har har) in town.

    There are so many indie developers out there that don't do this crap and in many cases you get better bang for your buck.

    Kickstarter is my new "Gamestop"

     

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  22.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 6:47am

    Re: Re: Re:

    But...

    I like Nippon Ichi.

     

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  23.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 6:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I keep remembering when Lotus insisted on the dongle in order to use Lotus 1-2-3. It didn't work consistently or if it wobbled loose from the parallel port it was attached to suddenly the program stopped working.

    I don't think it too a month before people at the office started to load up a cracked copy that worked just fine, thank you, without the silly dongle thanks to FidoNet. The user could have the dongle attached so it looked "legit" but it didn't do much of anything.

    I don't know if Lotus sold so much as one extra copy of 1-2-3 to anyone other than big and medium sized businesses.

    DRM is a total pain in the ass that adds little or no value which encourages cracking the DRM in order to have a consistently working program.

     

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  24.  
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    Leigh Beadon (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 6:49am

    Re:

    Just don't buy their products. That's a simple and very effective way of telling them you do not want their arcane restrictions. Whining and then giving them your money anyway just says you're a loser.

    I have never understood this sentiment. In virtually every single commercial field, there are plenty of customers who buy a product/service and then push the company to make sure that product/service meets their expectations.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:06am

    Re: Re: Re:

    That doesn't explain why they wouldn't sell a stripped-of-DRM version when cracked copies hit the pirate sites.

     

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  26.  
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    Besieged, May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:07am

    From a programmers standpoint, they probably only had to change one configuration variable in a text file or the database to allow more activations. Ripping out the DRM would be a lot more work that, at this point, probably wouldn't make them any more money.

    That being said, I don't approve of the machine install limit DRM. It's ridiculous to expect people to buy a new game because they upgraded their PC.

     

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    josh, May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:07am

    Re: ??

    I don't know about the copy you bought, but it's not something that's exactly printed on the box. I didn't see the fine print until AFTER purchase. Because yes, if we had known previous to purchase, we would have thought twice before purchasing.

     

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  28.  
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    Besieged, May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:12am

    Re: Re:

    Or, they'll see that PC sales are declining and only produce the game for consoles. I see that as a more likely resolution.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:13am

    I reached the limit 2 years after purchasing the game, and could no longer install it. So I took it back and got a full refund for what I paid for it originally. They didn't want to at first, but I reminded them about the law. They first offered store credit to the value of what the game was at the time, then store credit to what I paid for it, then cash to what it was a the time, then finally they agreed to a cash refund of what I paid for it.

     

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  30.  
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    meddle (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:13am

    Re: Re:

    So when it becomes clear that they do not care what we want, do we keep buying the product?

     

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  31.  
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    Keii (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Me too, friend. Me too.

     

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  32.  
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    Keii (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:14am

    Re: Host taking...

    They'll go bankrupt and die before they see the truth about DRM. And the whole time they'll be blaming piracy for it.

     

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  33. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:17am

    BOMBSHELL: Facebook Bankers Secretly Cut Forecasts For Company In Middle Of IPO Roadshow

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:17am

    Re:

    But why make it 50? Why not change the variable to 4,294,967,296 (the highest int value) or 65,535 if they used a smallint variable. The large numbers are basically the same as removing it completely. 50 isn't

     

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  35.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:20am

    Re: Re:

    Plus, they have a habit of assuming that any lost sales are due to piracy, not DRM, and so they just increase what they're doing wrong.

    Thanks to things like GOG, the indie bundles and so on, I think that some games companies are getting the message. It will probably be a while before we see such moves from EA and Ubisoft, though.

     

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  36.  
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    Besieged, May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re:

    Probably because it was simpler to type a "0" and then hit ctrl + s? No idea. 50 is a good bit.

     

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  37.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:33am

    Re: Re:

    I have no doubt that sales have been lost to DRM...

    Ten people I know who otherwise would have bought it without question won't be buying Diablo 3 after I explained the DRM.

    Eight of them can't tell you the difference between a torrent and their own ass. Assuming 50% of those who could would have pirated it, that's nine lost sales at $60/per or a $540 current total direct cost for pissing me off.

    I couldn't even guess at how much they've lost from my rants being spread to further generations and I'm for damn sure not the only one annoyed enough to talk people out of buying it.

    Way to work that word of mouth, Blizzard.

     

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  38.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:36am

    Re:

    "Ripping out the DRM would be a lot more work that, at this point, probably wouldn't make them any more money."

    On the original Crysis, perhaps. Upping the activation requirement to an essentially infinite number would have taken as much work but would be better received. Issuing a patch to remove the online activation requirement completely (as other publishers have done in the past) would have generated even more.

    Moves like this make some people think twice about buying not just the original game, but every subsequent game as well. Count me among them. I have a second hand copy of Crysis 2 I bought last year in my to-play pile, and may well have bought the rest of the series if I decide I like it. If I like earlier games in a series, I tend to buy the sequels new (albeit not necessarily at full price or on day of release).

    I probably won't buy them now due to moves like this, so they've ensured that their revenue from me will be exactly $0. In other words, this action has not only lost them a sale of Crysis but also Crysis 3 and any subsequent DRMed game they produce. I doubt I'm the only one who thinks like this.

    Maybe this is small potatoes compared to the market as a whole, but I doubt the DRM actually gained them sales in the first place...

     

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  39.  
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    Doug D (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:48am

    I'll wait for the GoG version.

    If it's a game I might want to play, I can wait for the GoG version. It's okay if it takes ten or fifteen years. If it's a good enough game, it'll still be worth playing (and the required hardware will be cheaper). I still play "Master of Magic" and "Master of Orion 2"... heck, I still play Zork sometimes.

     

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    Doug D (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:52am

    Re:

    Ripping out the DRM would be a lot more work that, at this point, probably wouldn't make them any more money.

    A lot of work, except, someone's already done it! Aren't cracked copies already out there?

    If they were to infringe on the intellectual property of the "pirates" who cracked their game, who exactly would take whom to court over that? Would the crackers identify themselves in order to sue for infringement? What would the consequences be?

     

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  41.  
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    Simple Mind (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 8:27am

    Re: ??

    There is a couple of things... one is that people are weak willed. Games are fun and people want to play them. Even with the DRM restrictions, you at least get to play the game. Appliances aren't fun.

    Another thing, and an important one I think many game makers are missing, is that people want to pay for games. Maybe not always the price they are asking, but in principal they want to reward the producer of a game they enjoy. There is also in humans a tendency to feel obligated when somebody does something for them. So what happens is people purchase the game and then also download the crack so they can use it as nature intended. For your appliance example to be comparable to the situation we have with games, people would need to know there is an unrestricted appliance out there that they can just take for free. That there is a pirate ecosystem for PC games is probably the only reason games with restrictive DRM sell well at all.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 8:27am

    Re:

    Spambot #54566?! I'm a hug fan of your work!

     

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  43.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re:

    Mine was inside a coconut carried by a swallow.

     

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  44.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 8:29am

    Re:

    Are you in a European country? Because as far as I know there is no such law in the US.

     

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  45.  
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    IronM@sk, May 22nd, 2012 @ 8:37am

    Re:

    I bought a legitimate key from one of those discount key sites for $3, then, lacking any authorised outlet to download the game client from, went off to my trusty file sharing site and downloaded it, at my full connection speed, from about 500 other fans.

     

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  46.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 8:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Because DRM costs a lot of money to license.

     

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  47.  
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    Simple Mind (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 8:58am

    Re: I'll wait for the GoG version.

    I prefer the Magog version, personally.

     

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  48.  
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    DCX2, May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Instead of Diablo, recommend Torchlight.

     

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  49.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:09am

    Re: Re:

    I have no doubt that sales have been lost to DRM


    DRM is the sole reason that I stopped gaming years ago. They've lost at least one sale a month, over a period of years, just from me.

     

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  50.  
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    DCX2, May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:09am

    Re: ??

    This is why, before purchasing any games from Steam, I go check out the Steam forums for that game. Search for "DRM" and see what pops up.

    One game I saw, can't remember what it was, had a series of hoops to jump through that might as well be DRM. First, sign up for their other service. Then, sign up through that service for this game. Then, if you wanted to play Friends Only multiplayer, you had to link your Facebook to your account (and so did your friends).

    While I may have been willing to deal with making accounts (not likely but possible if the game is good enough)...I hate all social networking.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:09am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I count for at least 10 actual lost sales because of DRM just on my ownsome.

    I refuse to reward bad behavior, and selling me a crippled, defective by design product is true theft, imo.

    I happen to not pirate either, but what's the difference when the deal breaker is the publisher's choice of DRM?

     

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  52.  
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    DCX2, May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re: Re:

    African, or European?

     

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  53.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Or, they'll see that PC sales are declining and only produce the game for consoles.


    Consoles have the same issues.

     

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  54.  
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    drewdad (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I've simply stopped buying games. I don't pirate, either; I just find free alternatives.

    Plenty of free-to-play games out there, where I can decide whether or not I want to buy a skin or a character slot, or whatever.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Monkey (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Was it an african swallow, or european ?

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re: ??

    I'd reiterate a point in your post, that people need to *KNOW* the DRM is there, or even what it is, in the first place. There are plenty of folks for whom DRM is a well known factor in gaming (or digital stuff in general), but they are FAR outnumbered by people who have not one clue what it is or what it does or why or how or when...

    I've received games as gifts that I'd purposely refused to buy due to onerous DRM requirements/detriments/defects. It's the thought that counts, but the gift giver never knew to even think of the question of DRM.

     

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

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:22am

    Re: Piracy Excuse #37

    It's not about piracy if you bought the game, though, right?

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re:

    Didn't that actually happen with a Splinter Cell game that wouldn't work? Ubisoft? Crack group name in the game patch code or something? Years ago?

    Bueller?

     

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

  59.  
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    JustMe (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:40am

    Torchlight and Nekro DRM FREE!

    I paid for Torchlight for PC and will be paying for Torchlight II for MAC. I also recommend Nekro, of which I am a proud paid supporter.

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:25am

    I like to game. I bought a fully dressed out computer just to be able to play games like Crysis.

    I've also learned that you can't depend on gaming magazines to give you an honest summation of the game. Gaming companies have poisoned that route thinking any bad mention is loss of money. I won't buy a game untried anymore. You give me a game worth playing and I'll buy it.

    I like a game that isn't the same at each and every play. That has different outcomes and endings depending on what you've done in the game. The play itself is more important than the story line in this. I still play Crysis from time to time but I find I am more leaning towards those like the Fallout franchise or Skyrim and it's previous incarnations. Mainly because you can go where you want, how you want, and there are tons of stuff buried in the game you won't find the first 5 or 6 times you play it. Those are games worth the money that you can play again and again, and still be surprised at something you discovered that was always there but you didn't know before. What I am saying is replay has high value.

    When you go to putting limits on how many times it can be installed, I'll quit buying as it is no longer worth it. Viruii, malware, hardware changes, it all counts towards new installs. I won't put up with that if I am spending the money for a legal copy.

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:34am

    While I am at it, there is one other think I should mention. Screw me enough, I'll refuse to buy your games. Companies on that list for me...EA and Ubisoft. I quit buying their games long ago. They come up with ideas like this all the time and are no longer worth buying.

     

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

  62.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ten people I know who otherwise would have bought it without question won't be buying Diablo 3 after I explained the DRM.

    +1...I loved Diablo/Diablo II (which I paid for three copies of each including the expansion, on for each computer that I used so that I could play with friends,) as well as Warcraft 1-3 and Starcraft. I have not bought Blizzard since, partly because of the stupid and arrogant stance they took against BNETD and partly because of the DRM. No Starcraft II, and no Diablo III, and certainly no WoW. I'll stick with GoG/Torchlight/etc.

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I know the insane decisions in D3 will keep me from playing it. Losing gear due to server disconnects? Logging into a single player game? Logging into a single player game *AND* getting stuck in a queue? Sorry, the servers for your single player game are down. No thanks, I'll pass.

     

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

  64.  
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    Steve R. (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 12:20pm

    Why Even Buy???

    We bought a game, read the terms of service, and decided to return it. The store we bought it from said "NO return", and the company that manufactured the game responded that you had to return the game to the retail store, obviously a catch-22. So if they are unwilling to accept a return, why even attempt to honestly buy a game to begin with?

    These companies are actually promoting piracy by refusing to deal with you in an honest manner.

     

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

  65.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Why Even Buy???

    You'd probably be able to get your refund if you take them to small claims court.

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    S, May 22nd, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    So I'm curious, why hasn't anyone started lobbying to make notification of DRM mandatory on software packaging?

    In other words, if a software product is somehow crippled (limited activation, can only be installed on X number of computers, requires internet connection to be used, etc.), why isn't it legally required that the customer be CLEARLY notified of this prior to purchase?

    An item buried in the ToS isn't enough; I mean something on the front of the fucking package that says, "This product is DRM Protected. This means you can not do X, Y, or Z with this product."

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And they think making the paid version of the game unattractive will recoup their investment?


    FAIL LOGIC IS FAIL

     

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

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 1:51pm

    Solution: only use free as in speech software, only buy hardware that supports it.

    There, no DRM ever.

     

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

  69.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 1:56pm

    Re:

    Actually, someone has. The Entertainment Consumers Association has been trying to convince the games industry to disclose DRM on the packaging as well as standardize EULAs and TOSs and publish them where they are publicly accessible before the purchase of the game.

    http://theeca.com/digital_rights_management

    http://theeca.com/end_user_license_agreement s

    Check out its other positions in the left navigation.

     

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

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    never bought, hardly played...
    /dev/null this crap

     

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

  71.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Piracy Excuse #37

    "I just want to use the product I bought."

    Another vote for the sad but true button. I still marked it funny but the fact that some of us have to resort to piracy just to play the game we already spent good money buying is more sad and less funny.

    I stopped buying published games because I got tired of being told I was a bad guy for spending good money buying the game in the first place. Now it is GoG, open source, freeware, and to somewhat less of an extent, Steam games for me. When I install a brand spanking new (never been installed,) copy of Halo 2 that I bought many years ago direct from Microsoft, and it tells me I installed it on too many computers, that is when I have to say the game is over. Especially when Microsoft even admitted to me that it wasn't a problem with the game, but with the OS I had decided to install it on (64-bit Windows 7) that was the problem.

     

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

  72.  
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    Rikuo (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 4:03pm

    Re: Re: ??

    Just so ya's know, I didn't exactly pay for my copy of Crysis Maximum Edition. I traded in some console games and paid for it and Sims 3 with the store credit.

    Also, checking the back of the box, it says "Internet Connection, Online Authentication, acceptance of EULA required to play". Box doesn't say anything about a 5 install limit. Given the way its worded, I can be forgiven for thinking that there wasn't a limit. I thought that it just required the disc in the drive and a once off net access to get the game to work.

     

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

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Cowrad, May 22nd, 2012 @ 5:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It wasn't Splinter Cell, but it was an Ubisoft game. Don't remember which, but the patch they released to fix a problem with the game turned out to be a crack created by one of the various Scene groups releasing cracks/fixes to various games.

    But yes, the game patch when looked at had the name of the scene group in it still. Kind of hilarious really.

    Looking at it now, I'm surfing on my phone so I can't post the links, Ubisoft has done similar things more than once. They released a pirated copy of the soundtrack to Assassin's Creed. The specific patch we're discussing that they did steal (they stole the code and forgot to take out Reloaded's name from it, which is considered theft) was for Rainbow Six: Vegas 2. The specific patch was a "No-CD" one, which they used to deal with their always on DRM.

     

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

  74.  
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    That One Guy (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:16pm

    Re: Why not just....

    Yes, because I don't already get enough spam to my email account...

     

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

  75.  
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    btr1701 (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:16pm

    Re: Piracy Excuse #37

    > Piracy Excuse #37

    > "I just want to use the product I bought."

    So now even paying customers are pirates in your blinkered world-view?

     

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

  76.  
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    That One Guy (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 11:58pm

    Re: Re: Piracy Excuse #37

    He/she was almost certainly making a joke, but as far as the publishers view things, it's not that wrong.

    Anyone who's ever downloaded an unofficial patch or fix, anyone who's ever bought a used version of a game... as far as the publishers see things, those people, even though they did buy the product, still count as pirates.

     

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

  77.  
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    WysiWyg (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 12:32am

    Re: Re:

    I think "they" think that everyone that pirates a copy have to crack it themselves (ignoring the readily available cracks online), so the harder the game is to crack, the less people will crack it.

    Back in the days, before Internet really took off, most game piracy was by copying between friends. They probably still think that's the case.

     

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

  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2012 @ 10:10am

    Re: Re:

    The funny thing is that I recall an incident in which a developer patching their game to remove the CD requirement was caught using a no CD crack from pirates.

     

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

  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 9:13am

    Re:

    ffs don't give them ideas.

     

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

  80.  
    identicon
    CN, May 26th, 2012 @ 6:32pm

    Re: DRM is the sole reason that I stopped gaming years ago.

    Same here. I used to buy games all the time. Got tired of the crappy DRM long before it got to the gruesome state it is today. They've been losing my money for a very long time.

     

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

  81.  
    identicon
    CN, May 26th, 2012 @ 6:42pm

    Sadly in this case, voting with your wallet doesn't work

    Just don't buy their products. That's a simple and very effective way of telling them you do not want their arcane restrictions.

    The problem with this is that they don't say "Hmmm, our game isn't selling well. Must be that people don't like the unfair restrictions we put on them." They say "Hmmm, our game isn't selling well. Damned pirates! Next time we will have even greater restrictions. That will solve the problem."

     

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

  82.  
    identicon
    MAFIAA Shill, May 27th, 2012 @ 3:07am

    Re: Re: ??

    You liar. People do not feel obligated to reward those who do something for them. People don't feel grateful. People are selfish and greedy, this is why we need to put a price tag on our music, movies and games - to keep you thieves paying us for our hard work.

    If we didn't sell stuff at the price we sell it, you guys would enjoy our work and never even say "thank you". You know I'm right, so stop lying. You're all greedy, selfish thieves and those price tags force you to show a minimum of consideration once in a while in your lives.

    Please buy our products :)

     

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

  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2012 @ 3:47am

    You guys know what game has DRM that nobody talks about? Minecraft.

    You need to log in to their server each time you launch the game. If you can't log in then playing multiplayer gets troublesome. Let me explain:

    - Multiplayer servers are, by default, configured to check if you have logged in to the company's (Mojang) server. If you haven't, multiplayer servers won't let you join.

    - Multiplayer servers can be configured to let everyone in, however this is not the default option.

    - Mojang goes to great lengths to encourage server owners to crack down on piracy by only letting authenticated accounts log in. In most games, server admins wouldn't care whether you paid for the game or not, but when it comes to Minecraft, Mojang has created a loyal player base. So again, if you can't log in to the Mojang server for some reason, you can't join most multiplayer servers.

    - Multiplayer servers save your inventory when you log out to your name. So if you last played on the multiplayer server while logged in to the Mojang server, your inventory will be saved to your user name (e.g. "John").
    Now if you come back to the server but don't log in through the Mojang server, your name will be Player by default (and can't be changed). The multiplayer server will see you as "Player" and will not retrieve your inventory from last time (saved as "John").
    And of course, if 2 or more people log in as "Player" they will be getting the inventory of the last guy named "Player" who had his inventory saved on the server.
    Basically, forget playing in multiplayer if you can't log in through the Mojang server first.

    I am sure this issue could be solved easily, for example multiplayer servers could probably use something other than your name to save your inventory. Maybe Mojang could program their game so you could use a password to save your inventory on a server.

    - If you paid for the game, you are forever stuck with the same name in game. You pick your name when you create an account for Minecraft and that name is used as your name in game. You cannot change it ever.
    On the other hand, the pirated version lets you change your name at will. You will still have the above issues with multiplayer servers, such as not retrieving your saved inventory if you change names between log ins, but if you ever feel like changing your name in game, the pirated version lets you do it but the full game doesn't.

    - The Mojang servers have been down in the past and regularly are for short periods of time. Personally, I have been unable to log in to MY OWN server with my official name as a result, causing me to log in to my server with the name "Player" and being unable to retrieve my inventory until I could log in again to the Mojang server.

    The last time this happened, I couldn't log in for about 10 minutes or so. It may not seem like much, but it's very annoying when it happens. It's a game I paid for and it's MY OWN SERVER, yet I can't play it properly when Mojang servers aren't running properly!
    Thankfully you don't need to stay logged in to the Mojang server continuously, but it's still pretty annoying.

    Of course Mojang is far from the great company everyone makes it to be. They have more than players, they have a fan base, so they don't get much complaints.
    However, this is a company that lied to their customers to make them buy Minecraft.
    When in Beta, Mojang claimed they'd make the game great and add tons of content. They also made it sound like the money you spent to buy the game would be used to improve the game further.

    Currently, the game has been officially released yet has very little content. There aren't too many animals or enemies really, and for a game about building stuff like houses and castles, you have no furniture to decorate your place! I'm sure most people here have played the game and know what I'm talking about but for those who aren't familiar with Minecraft, here's something to give you an idea: Mojang added villages to their game, and as furniture for the homes, they used stair steps as chairs and a pressure plate (a square slab of wood you normally walk on to open doors and such...) placed on a fence post for a table! Also, the game lets you make cake which can be placed on the ground or a block or whatever before being eaten... but you can't place it on their improvised table. If you want anything that looks like a table to place your cake on, you need to place it on a block of wood.
    Yeah, they couldn't be bothered to make a real chair and a real table for their own villages... Says a lot.

    Speaking of villages, they also added villagers (kind of logical). However, the game has been released late last year (October or November) and those villagers still don't have an AI that let's them to stuff. They walk around randomly and do nothing. They don't build stuff, they don't farm their fields or cut trees for wood... and you can't even interact with them (the next update should let us trade with them, but they should have had a use much earlier).

    As for the money Mojang made through sales of Minecraft and which should have gone to develop the game further? All gone in their pockets apparently. A few months ago Notch (the head guy at Mojang) gave a large sum of money to his employees ($3 Million), despite he and another guy called Jeb being the only ones to ever work on Minecraft.

    I'm not sure why these complaints don't get more coverage on the web. I'm guessing because most players are fans and few, like me, dare to complain.
    The game is good, I'll give them that, although personally I would have stopped playing long ago if it wasn't for mods.
    However, the company didn't use sales money to develop the game contrary to what most early buyers expected, and now the game still has too little content to be taken seriously as a real game. And of course, DRM.

    I'd love it if Techdirt could look into the matter of Mojang's broken promises and write about it. There's an ugly side to Minecraft that I think should be exposed.

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Andrei, Jun 10th, 2012 @ 10:06am

    Hello from the UK PC gamers, I came here to obliterate the comments section. I replied to this article on GFACE but I'll paste it here too.

    All forms of DRM piss me off to no end, I‘ve always purchased my games - never pirated and never will. When they persist in putting pathetic big brother corporate schemes (Steam, Ubiplay, Origin, Securom) like this on games, it makes a fool out of legitimate customers. And makes me avoid newer games altogether. Why some of the PC crowd put up with this is beyond me. You hurt us LEGIT customers with these primitive forms of ‘Copy Protection‘ (Corporate Control Schemes) and idiotic pirates get it for free with no strings attached. Fantastic!

    Oh thank you!, 50 activations for a game I purchased for £30 brand new on release day which I also later purchased the Maximum Edition & Special Edition. Nice to see that you‘re hard at work discussing business with Rodney and Del Boy on new ways to piss all over legitimate customers.

    Yes Crytek you‘re so Godlike showing your ‘omnipotent power‘ to the same crowd (us PC gamers) that made you. Morons. How about you remove the DRM completely. It‘s greedy, naive and extremely bigoted.

    And as for the Steamworks fanboys/fangirls. Sit down. Stop being corporate loyalists and stop supporting a rental company. Your logic is flawed, and your reasoning asinine.

    Every Steam-Nazi must be either a complete moron or 12 years old because it seems to me that they've forgotten the EULA 'Private Use'Copyright agreement BEFORE the Digital Distribution Market took the policy to court and changed that to meet with the new DRM schemes, most of the EULA was altered due to this. Valve and many other companies were in and out of court, a huge amount of controversy and questionable law changes across the world.

    Alot of people were up in arms and even questioned the legality of what Valve and many others were doing. Many illegal moves were pulled to force these fraudulent schemes upon the legitimate consumer as a form of control and a way to bring in more profit. It's ruining our already pissed on Consumer Rights (Whatever's left of it) and it's destroying local games businesses favour of corporations.

    And Steam-Nazi's compare Piracy with Used Sales?

    It's illegal, foolish and manipulative. Only a blind lunatic would be a fan of DRM. They tried this scheme with iTunes and various other digital and retail outlets and it failed so they removed it, so why are the PC community tolerating it?

    Steam does NOT equal PC gaming, and neither does Origin, Ubiplay or any other corporate tool. Anyone who supports these forms of DRM are brainwashed morons.

     

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

  85.  
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    MomPat (profile), Jul 2nd, 2012 @ 6:25pm

    ESA CRYSIS threatens to sue

    All you tech guys - will you help? Somebody's mom needs your expertise.

    My 14yr old did something called P2P pmp-crysis-warhead.iso. I received a nasty letter from my ISP Optimum reminding me of the contract, says I can call some people except to do so will reveal my identity, and various threats about being sued.

    I've since disciplined said 14yr old, and but what do I do about this notice? Call, don't call, go buy a copy of Crysis or what ever it is?

    Thanks. Pat.

    Any advice? Thanks. Pat

     

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

  86.  
    identicon
    Slurpyz, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 11:30am

    Re: ??

    You essentially described an iPod. It may not be an exactly perfect analogy, bit it's damn close. An iPod can mostly only work with Apple "flour". And as far as not many people that would buy into that... well, we know how that story ends.

     

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


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