(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Tim Cushing


Filed Under:
drm, symphonia

Companies:
bandia-namco



Bandai-Namco Blows Money On DRM Rather Than Fixing Its Terrible PC Port Of Tales Of Symphonia

from the to-nail-down-a-$20-game-that-was-cracked-within-hours dept

When console games are ported to the PC platform, the end result is often merely adequate. Some ports are amazing because the software developer actually knows and cares about the platform their game is being ported to. Others are just quick cash-ins, relying on name recognition to bring in sales the end product hasn't earned.

Some turn out well. Some turn out bad. And some are Tales of Symphonia, a twice-ported title that originally appeared on Nintendo's Gamecube back in 2004. Tales has landed on PC with all the grace of limbless cat with an inner ear disorder.

Here's a NeoGAF forum member's list of everything that's wrong with the port.

The games resolution is locked internal at 720p, no matter what resolution you choose.

The different languages are broken, since they used a wrong font and some words dont even show up. And some things havent even been translated into other languages.







The game is locked at 30fps

It has new typos

It still partially uses Ps3-Button-controls

Random crashes (including when using alt-tab to switch programs)

Only 6 save slots.

Opening the config and save menu can take 30 seconds to load.
Then there's this:
It uses a DRM thats called VMProtect, that creates a new *.exe everytime the game starts.
How cool is that. Every time the game is played, the DRM dumps another .exe on the user's hard drive. Why? Because DRM is stupid. In this case, the DRM runs the whole game in a "virtual machine with non-standard architecture." Sure, storage is cheap and no one's really in danger of filling up their drives with "fake" .exes, but is that the gold standard of DRM? One that creates its own bloatware while you play?

And why is the DRM even needed? Namco-Bandai is utilizing top-of-the-line DRM for a PC port of an eleven-year-old game that's selling for $20. Now, it has a lot of pissed off PC gamers on its hands, wondering why they were handed a fourth-rate piece of crap, rather than a port that shows the manufacturer cares for its games or its customers. A game with this many problems doesn't need DRM weighing it down (and shedding .exes every time the program is accessed).

Game modder Peter Thoman, in his review for PC Gamer, absolutely nails how effed-up Namco-Bandai's priorities are.
Namco-Bandai cannot afford even the very minimal changes required to support arbitrary resolutions or superficially QA their product, but they can afford a completely ineffective DRM system. An ineffective DRM system for a game which people, if they were so inclined, have been able to pirate freely for over a decade.

That is apparently the quality of the decision making processes within this company. Their fans—and PC gamers—deserve better


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Feb 2016 @ 6:10pm

    The golden standard is not to fix your product but fix how people view it. That's why we have publishers that spend more on advertising their games than the actual development budget.

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