Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Pirates Vs. Publishers 175

Posted by Zonk
from the arr-avoid-the-choppy-waters-o-starforce dept.
1up is running a piece looking at the fight between pirates and publishers in the games industry. They use StarForce, and their frustrating copy protection scheme, as a basis for their discussion of both sides of the issue. From the article: "The goal isn't to encourage people to be honest, or to drive innovation in the hacker community, or to be an irritant because you've lost your CD and want to play. The goal of a publisher in picking a copy protection service is to make more money by selling more copies. The logic is that if it's impossible to pirate the game, then people have to buy it if they want it. Why doesn't that work? If your copy protection is StarForce, then it doesn't work because people are boycotting your copy protection. StarForce, which installs a hard-to-remove driver onto your computer, has an unproven but generally accepted track record of causing computers to slow down -- at best. Some reports have complained of permanently damaged physical drives or hard drives."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Pirates Vs. Publishers

Comments Filter:
  • Pirates (Score:5, Funny)

    by nog_lorp (896553) * on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:56PM (#16371619)
    Perhaps if they want people to stop stealing their software, they should stop calling software-stealers such a cool nickname. Arrrr!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by roseblood (631824)
      One would think that swords and primitive firearms would beat out the guy with the stack of papers and the odd mechanical contraption.

      History has proven otherwise.

      Unfortunately in this age those who plunder are the publishers (in the music business at least.) Have you seen the contracts new artists end up having to sign?

      I know...RTFA, it's software publishers not music.
    • Perhaps if they want people to stop stealing their software, they should stop calling software-stealers such a cool nickname. Arrrr!

      Someone at Something Awful said that software piracy would decrease if it was called software faggotry. Makes sense!

      On a more serious note, I personally know one instance where the copy protection turned againts the user (me). System Shock 2 stopped working after Service Pack 2, and the only way I could make it work was to unwrap the copy protection software from the .exe. As a

    • by krell (896769)
      "they should stop calling software-stealers such a cool nickname. "

      Actually, I've never heard those who complain about pirates say a thing about those who steal software. Instead, they condemn copyright-infringers.
  • by d3am0n (664505) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:03PM (#16371679)
    First off, I pay for my games. However I don't install the games I buy. I chuck the disks in the trash, download the ripped copy, and then install a no-cd crack on it. I've got a rather impressive collection of games and I do it with every single one. Quite frankly, I completely see why people pirate games. The pirate copy is much more user friendly, installation goes quicker when it's from a HDD, and there's usually no DRM infection to potentially damage my machine. I truly think publishers are also going overboard and irking honest people, if I purchase DOOM III it tells me that I cannot have a legitimately purchased copy of clone cd running, when your video game tells me what software I can and cannot own it's trying to step WAY above it's station. While I still continue to support the industry, their tactics are not thwarting pirates, and they are pissing me off in a royal way. I'm not sure how much longer I'll keep buying their cd's to make landfill fodder and parting with my hard earned money.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sinclair44 (728189)
      I would pretty much agree -- NoCDs and kracks are often useful even for legitamately purchased games. Having the CD constantly in the drive is really annoying, especially when on a laptop or wanting to switch back and forth between several games.
    • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:43PM (#16372091) Homepage

      I had waited with much anticipation for Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. I went out and bought it the day it came out, so you can imagine my surprise when it refused to run! Why? Because I'm on XP x64. The copy protection wanted to install a low level driver and it didn't come with an x64 version, so it wouldn't let me play. So I went through all the fun of returning an opened game. A little over a year later a crack was released for it and I finally got to play the game. Thank you, RELOADED, for letting me play the franchise I love. And shame on Ubisoft, which I held in very high regards before that experience, for tainting their software with such crap.

      I tend to immediately rip any software I buy to HDD, and mount it with Daemon Tools when I need it. This created an extra problem for many other games, which will refuse to run if it detects any virtual drives. Thankfully Daemon Tools tends to keep ahead of them.

      • SC3 came out before winxp 64bit. I know cause I had beaten it before xp 64bit was on msdn.
        • My point was that portability was thrown out the window solely because of the copy protection. Worse yet, Ubisoft never released a patch to fix it.

          (btw, I was a beta tester for XP x64. Chaos Theory came out a month before XP x64 went gold, when the OS was in final RC testing.)
          • My point is that you read the system requirements. I'm sure it didn't say xp64. I understand your point, but it is silly to expect them to support something that was in beta at the time. And it is silly to expect them to patch it now when almost no one uses 64bit windows.
            • They didn't just "not support" xp64, they artificially disallowed it. That's an essential difference in my mind: the former is reasonable, but the latter is not.

              The only thing "silly" here is the use of DRM to begin with.

  • In the last year I can only think of one, maybe two, good titles worth purchasing. I download games to try them, if I enjoy them I buy them. I know not everyone will act in such an honest fashion, but on my own accord I feel that I am justified in doing this.

    If the game publishers would start putting out good games rather than absolute crap (listen up EA!) then maybe we'd all start buying things again. Same goes for the music industry.
    • by d3am0n (664505)
      I think the main issue isn't the quality of the product. What you hate I might love (I'm a Peter Molyneaux fan so heh, that's where that comes from). However at issue is the crap they put into these games cannot be uninstalled in alot of cases, is installed silently, and ontop of that it can harm the functionality of a pristine system (I'm anal about haveing my system run as clean as possible). What they are doing is including spyware in some cases, and at the very least malware with these systems, givin
    • by mythosaz (572040)
      I know not everyone will act in such an honest fashion...
      In such an honest fashion? You're kidding right? You download them all, and then only pay for the "good ones?" Your "honesty" is impressive.
      • by Grishnakh (216268) on Monday October 09, 2006 @08:10PM (#16372399)
        So I guess you just buy all your music CDs based on the cover artwork, and never actually listen to the songs beforehand (radio, in-store listening stations, friends' CDs, etc.)?

        If you've ever listened to any song on a CD before buying that CD (or iTunes track), then you're a hypocrite.
    • by Carnildo (712617)

      In the last year I can only think of one, maybe two, good titles worth purchasing.

      I agree: there are one or two titles that I'm interested in purchasing in any given year. The difference is that I'm looking at games from last year and the year before to decide what to purchase. This has some major advantages: if people are still talking about it after two years, it's probably a pretty good game. Any bugfixes have already been released, so I'm not stuck with an unplayable game. The mod community has had

      • by snuf23 (182335)
        Any bugfixes have already been released, so I'm not stuck with an unplayable game.

        If only this were true of all games. Battlefield 2 I'm looking at you!
  • by ludomancer (921940) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:10PM (#16371737)
    I have bought a vast amount more software thanks to trying it out via pirate-distrobution first. Simple as that. Goes the same for music, movies, etc.

    If they want to bitch about lost sales to me, I'll call them on their lying marketting and slanted, paid-off reviews. It's all about publishers wanting control when it comes down to it, and pointing fingers when a shitty game doesn't sell.

    If they could spin it they'd have people buying the most terrible crap out there for $60 a pop (haha), as every magazine review and media outlet hails it as a hallmark of interactivity. No thanks. I'll continue to bittorrent and decide for myself who gets my money.

    • by Grishnakh (216268) on Monday October 09, 2006 @08:12PM (#16372415)
      If they want to bitch about lost sales to me, I'll call them on their lying marketing and slanted, paid-off reviews.

      Lying marketing? Aren't you repeating yourself here?
      This is like calling someone a "stupid idiot".

      P.S. If I've offended any marketing people here, that was my intention.
      • by cptgrudge (177113)

        P.S. If I've offended any marketing people here, that was my intention.

        They might be offended, but as long as they are your Target Demographic and your Reach is high through this Medium, they should be happy for you.

    • by StikyPad (445176)
      I haven't seen a whole lot of slanted reviews. The last issue of CGW I picked up, for example, had only 2 out of 7 games that scored an 8 out of 10. They seem to be fairly straightfoward about the shortcomings of games, and most were rated as 5 out of 10. Likewise, while Gamespot does a LOT of promotional stuff, A) it caters to their viewers, and B) it doesn't seem to affect their reviews. Often their reviews are actually lower than the player reviews, although it's difficult to say why that is. The th
      • by walnutmon (988223)
        I don't read CGW anymore, but they may still be decent. PC Gamer is awsome in the review department, they really seem to care more about people playing the games than they do about the people selling the games... It is unfortunate that this doesn't seem to be helping them win the battle against the big online companies that are much more forgiving in their reviews.

        I just want the big review sites to bury games that are buggy or detrimental to your computer. And if the game is a cheap update to the last ga
        • by StikyPad (445176)
          "Probably because most of what you see is pretty much free to us. You get what you pay for.

          I'm not sure that's purely a function of "teh interweb," since Gamespot in particular sells premium accounts to turn off the ads. Meanwhile print media is *completely* advertiser funded. The subscription fee you pay only covers a meager portion of the costs for, and is only maintained because, IIRC, giving out the publications for free tends to lower their credibility and, in turn, their readership. When the reader
  • Futile (Score:5, Insightful)

    by headkase (533448) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:13PM (#16371775)
    On the other side of the coin, the only people who suffer (inconvenience of finding and loading the disc, damage to disc causing repurchase) are people who legitimately bought the software. The pirates (whom we need more of to lower global tempertures btw..) are all running cracked copies - that don't have any of the annoying dimensions - on the first or second day of the software's release (0-day warez anyone?). CD-Keys at least aren't as intrusive as most of the titles with them don't require the media in the drive. I like what Stardock has done with GalCiv2, a cd-key that is activated over the internet or email once per patch and doesn't require the CD in the drive (keeping pirates from playing multiplayer too btw). That's the balance that I'm willing to accept, how about you?
  • by Zephiria (941257) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:15PM (#16371805)
    Here's me, wanting to buy a game, Dark crusade.
    I already have a pre-order in, its ship date is the 9th, today.
    Its in most US shops from the 10th onward.
    In the EU we'll be lucky to see it after the 24th/27th.
    I could wait the 2 weeks to get it, or I could just snatch it off of a torrent site or emule or the like and have it very shortly after the pirates upload it.

    This in my mind puts the pirates WAY ahead of the publishers, and more to the point makes the common games buying public, IE me feel more supportive of them.

    And as another user commented, not having to find disks, not having PC destroying crap installed on my machine is a big plus to me.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I *will* give THQ/Relic credit for two things:

      1. NOT using Starforce. I believe they use Securom, which while annoying, doesn't crap up your computer.
      2. After a few months, at least, they removed the copy protection from Dawn of War and Winter Assault with the 1.5 patch. A comment from one of their team was: "SecuROM is great for that first couple months, but after that, it's just a pain. CD-Keys are absolute, so we still have a form of copy protection."

      From what I understand, their newer game, Company of H
    • by snuf23 (182335)
      How about digital distribution like Steam or Direct2Drive?
      I recently bought Civ 4: Warlords off Direct2Drive because it was on sale. I really like not having to put the CD in to play the game. I used to use a miniso with my Civ 4 to play, but now I don't have to bother with mounting that and running the SDkiller app.
  • by 6 (22657) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:21PM (#16371863)
    I think this comes down to the same self defeating strategy we see all over the business world; it is not enough to make lots of dollars instead you must strive to make EVERY dollar.

    In the effort to make every possible dollar the business world ends up destroying the reasons their clients were willing to pay them in the first place.
  • StarForce? I thought StarForce was dead or about to die from being annoying to the user/potentially harmful to the hardware, posting torrents of games which didn't use StarForce on their forums (GalCiv2) and being cracked anyways? I thought Steam was the latest fashionable hard-to-crack protection.

  • What I think (Score:4, Interesting)

    by brkello (642429) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:36PM (#16372031)
    The typical Slashdot response to one of these articles is that they pirated the game, found they liked it, and then shelled out money for the game. They justify this by being screwed over by some terrible game in the past, having limited gaming funds, or preferring the copy protection free software. That's fine if it gives you a warm, happy feeling, but you are still breaking the law and there are plenty of ways to avoid this. Find a game reviewer that you trust, and select your games based on their opinions. Or if a developer puts out quality games, stick with that developer. But let's be realistic, people are always going to pirate, and they are always going to come up with some dumb justification for it.

    The thing is, if no one pirated games, then the overly restrictive copy protection would not exist. Now they add copy protection. Copy protection would not be so horrible if they just did what they were intended to do: make it difficult for others to copy and distribute their games to others. Unfortunately, we have copy protection that infects our system causing it to slow down the game, the system, and sometimes even make parts of it fail to function. All that copy protection does is cause more people to go down the pirate route.

    Ok, so this next part is important for the game companies: THERE IS NO COPY PROTECTION, NOR WILL THERE EVER BE, THAT CAN STOP PIRACY. They will always be able to crack it or find a way to get the source. They will then distribute it. I am going to say something that won't be popular to Slashdotters now: copy protection is necessary. Because people will always justify their piracy, they need to make it hard enough so a casual user is unable to take their discs and stick it online. They do not need to license some expensive, over-bearing copy protection that install drivers or root kits. Just something cheap that prevent a casual user from doing it. Why do I suggest this? 1) If you put no protection on it, you are guaranteed to sell less units 2) It's going to be pirated anyways, so spending money on licensing expensive copy protection is pointless 3) A simple scheme will make it hard enough so that Joe User will have to go buy it, but unobtrusive so that it will not turn people off from the game.

    But really, not much will change as long as we don't prosecute the pirates. The Internet is still very much the Wild West...anything goes. Until authorities actually go after people pirating software (and I am betting in 10 years, cyber crimes will account for the majority of fines and penalties), people are going to do it. Using what I stated above is the best "in the middle" approach that I can think of.
    • Re:What I think (Score:5, Insightful)

      by d3am0n (664505) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:50PM (#16372159)
      Don't bitch out people who pirate games and buy them. Bitch about people who don't pay. This isn't a judge dredd comic book. Civil disobediance against stupid laws like the DMCA that don't let me put a no-cd crack on the games I own is entirely appropriate and necessary. If everyone simply goes "oh it's the law lets always obey" society would be in a rather sorry state. Publishers are being paid for their work, there is abit of piracy, bringing down the hammer on it will only make it stronger, infecting users systmes with malware for corporate penny pinching is wrong.
      • by mythosaz (572040)
        Buying a small percentage of the games you "pirate" doesn't make you right, and making NO-CD cracks for games isn't civil disobedience -- if it was even CLOSE to civil disobedience, it'd be done in public, with shared source code, and the "crack" would get distributed WITHOUT A COPY OF THE GAME ATTACHED TO IT.

        Oooh, look at all the cool civil disobedience on eMule today...
        • by d3am0n (664505)
          It is done in public, go check out some of the game copying forums, they don't require registration and are entirely in the public, there are even fully created programs that will automate the process of cracking a game. Just because the legislative branch of the united states has lost its goddamn mind doesn't mean everyone else has.
        • by Sparr0 (451780)
          Actually, crack/keygen groups almost unanimously do NOT distribute games. They would be offended to hear it suggested otherwise.
      • by brkello (642429)
        Uhh, I will bitch about everyone who does it. If you were pirating games that only had obtrusive software, fine. But you aren't...you are just justifying it. Sure, the people who don't buy it are worse (and are the majority) but all you have is stupid justifications. You prefer to pretend you are liberators, protecting society by pirating games. Give me a break. Like I said, when they make it malware, it is bad. When it is reasonable, it's fine. Obviously reading isn't your strong point. Just spout
    • by CoderBob (858156)

      The thing is, if no one pirated games, then the overly restrictive copy protection would not exist. Now they add copy protection. Copy protection would not be so horrible if they just did what they were intended to do: make it difficult for others to copy and distribute their games to others. Unfortunately, we have copy protection that infects our system causing it to slow down the game, the system, and sometimes even make parts of it fail to function. All that copy protection does is cause more people to

    • by AusIV (950840)
      I agree that some form of copy protection is needed. I don't play many games. On the occasion that I do play a game, it's probably one I bought back in middle school and have decided to play again for a few hours of good entertainment. Most of those games had relatively simple copy protection, you had to have the CD in the drive, or there was a CD Key and it was checked against a server to make sure it wasn't in use. I remember a game I had before I could read that showed me three pictures, then I had to pu
      • by Pofy (471469)
        >I agree that some form of copy protection is needed. ...... Most of those games had
        >relatively simple copy protection, you had to have the CD in the drive, or there was a
        >CD Key and it was checked against a server to make sure it wasn't in use.

        That is not copy protection though, it is access protection. Quite different. At least from a legal persepctive in many countries. Ture, it is often called copy protection since it makes people less prone to actually copy but from the legal perspective it do
    • by snuf23 (182335)
      Until authorities actually go after people pirating software

      They have and they do. The difference is that federal crackdowns on piracy of software have at this point targetted either large distribution points (whether it's CD duplication or FTP hubs) or the crackers themselved. Many groups over the years have had members arrested but someone else always steps up to fill in the gaps.
      The other area where crackdowns occur is in large scale business software piracy.
      Compare this to the RIAA and MPAA actions whic
    • already ...

      I hate when people do that.

      Laws are not abided because they are just laws. They HAVE to be civil, developed and applicable enough for the contemporary times they are being used in. Else, they would have no meaning.

      Let me brief this idea with an example ; in 1789, law was that there were the highborne, the nobles, and they were above the "common" people and held powers over them to the degree of life and death decisions. This was the "law" by then, and law stated that it was god given rig
  • by DrXym (126579) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:37PM (#16372045)
    The best way to prevent piracy is to put a game out that is incomplete without registering.

    I can see why some publisher who wants just to shove a game out of the door and forget about it might think anti-pirate CDs are a good idea, but any multi-player game, or indeed any game were content is expandable, unlockable or downloadable should not need anti-pirate measures. You need to access the web anyway, so why not check the CD serial key. Then you can reward your genuine customers with additional content, maps, objects etc. and shut out the freeloaders by barring them from the servers and so on. So they get to play a bugged 1.0 for a while. So what? Meanwhile your customers are on 1.5 happily playing the cool new levels you just released.

    Games that force me to insert a CD really piss me off. I end up going to gamecopyworld or similar to acquire the crack. And that's the thing. Pirates can rip the copy protection in seconds and then dump the whole game up for download or provide a crack. So why bother with it anyway? Copy protection licence fees are still money down the drain when the pirates simply rip it out. That money would be better invested in keeping customers happy and "training" them through a positive experience as to why they should buy your game.

    • ... someone uploads the unlocked additional content to the YoHoHoFTP server. And then you're back at square one again. Software as a service, on the other hand, works pretty well at preventing piracy: how many pirated disks of WoW do you think have ever been made? (Incidentally, folks who are pretty much OK with unrestricted piracy but hate monthly fees need to look at China. China's present is our future, folks: if piracy is inevitable and largely tolerated then you will not be able to own a PC game fo
      • by Sparr0 (451780)
        I purchased WoW, and played on the official servers for a year or so. But the last two times I have played have been on third party servers, and I downloaded a 'warez' copy of the game that included the first GB worth of patches.
    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      The best way to prevent piracy is to put a game out that is incomplete without registering.

      I can see why some publisher who wants just to shove a game out of the door and forget about it might think anti-pirate CDs are a good idea, but any multi-player game, or indeed any game were content is expandable, unlockable or downloadable should not need anti-pirate measures. You need to access the web anyway, so why not check the CD serial key. Then you can reward your genuine customers with additional content, ma

  • It is clear piracy is strictly beneficial and helps publishers sell more games and make money. A publisher can outpirate a pirate if they wanted to because all a pirate do is remove whatever anti-piracy stuff a publisher put in, which the publisher can do by just not putting it in in the first place. So if a publisher is to pirate their own games, they'll reap all the benefits of piracy, get a great name from the gaming community, and earn a ton of money.

    The reason why this has never been done is because
    • by Campbch (1003122) on Monday October 09, 2006 @08:26PM (#16372549)
      They supposedly make YOU more money at the consumer's convenience; the trick is, they have begun to realize that you need to make the consumer WANT to use it, rather than force-feed it to them. Steam is one such example, and while it caught flak in the beginning, it has become a very nice addition and tool for cataloguing mods and distributing third-party games. It even allows crazy indy games like defcon! People are skipping adverts with tivos and other P/DVRs, so it is beneficial to make more interesting commercials. Times change, economic models change, etc. it's just a sign of progress.
    • by mcvos (645701)

      So if a publisher is to pirate their own games, they'll reap all the benefits of piracy, get a great name from the gaming community, and earn a ton of money.

      The reason why this has never been done is because it doesn't work like that. If piracy is always helpful, people would've figured this out by now and pirate their own games.

      Actually, this is almost exactly what Stardock did with Galactic Civilizations 1 and 2. It has no copy protection and no CD check. It does have an activation code, but yoo

  • When did you last hear about International Talk Like a Publisher Day?

  • by ewhac (5844) on Monday October 09, 2006 @08:41PM (#16372727) Homepage Journal
    First off, it was the computer games industry that invented copy protection. Coming up on thirty years, they've been dealing with it longer than any other segment of the "digital content" industries. They have decided, wrongly or otherwise, that copy protection is a necessary evil. They're completely entrenched, they swim in the Kool-Aid, and no amount of bloviating here is going to change their position.

    That said, as much as I detest copy protection, I trust w4r3z k1dd13s even less. Despite being colossal jackasses about it, Blizzard at least has an ethical, commercial, and legal obligation not to fsck up my computer or data. If Blizzard does fsck up my machine, I have legal and social recourse. They have a reputation to protect, and so it is in their interest to deal fairly.

    Not so with hackers who remove copy protection and other product defects (or, perhaps more to the point, claim to remove such defects). The guy I'm downloading the modded copy from may be a trustworthy, noble-minded hacker seeking only to improve the game's flexibility and reliability. Or, he could be an a--hole trying to steal my identity, build his botnet and spray spam all over the place, concealing his malware inside the game. Or, he could simply be incompetent and end up crashing my machine very unpleasantly. Either way, I have no way of knowing. There is no "reputation marketplace" (that I'm aware of) where I can feel comfortable or safe obtaining such material.

    So unless and until the DMCA is demolished, I'm kinda stuck here. The game publishers will not stop incorporating defects into their products, and no one can build a trustworthy reputation for removing such defects.

    Schwab

    P.S: It's probably worth prominently acknowledging that Epic Games have been very accommodating with their Unreal Tournament game series. They start out with disc-in-the-drive protection, but it's soon removed in subsequent official patches. One of the friendliest policies out there.

    • If Blizzard does fsck up my machine, I have legal and social recourse.

      Have you ever read World of Warcraft's EULA? THEY have full legal and social recourse AGAINST YOU if you violate ANY of their rules.

      no one can build a trustworthy reputation for removing such defects.

      Deviance, Fairlight, Hoodlum and Reloaded are all VERY famous/well known inside and outside of PC gaming pirate circles. Razor 1911 is probably the most famous group of them all if only because they were (for a time) completely and utter

    • by UnrefinedLayman (185512) on Monday October 09, 2006 @10:20PM (#16373535)
      The warez scene is a complicated network of people and groups whose rewards are not monetary. The chief reward is recognition and reputation. It seems silly, but how much different is "I work for Google," or "I'm in the Army," from "I'm in RELOADED?"

      The primary suppliers of cracks--the big-time groups, like RELOADED--have their reputations on the line with every release they do, and those releases are thoroughly checked by other groups long before they trickle down to you or me. It's a competition between groups that breeds quality; poor quality releases are nuked. There's more information on the topic here [wikipedia.org].

      In this sense, trusting these sources of cracks is entirely rational. You're more likely to get a rootkit from, say, Sony or Starforce, than you are from a cracked game. Cracked games are heavily peer reviewed for benefits to the community, while companies do their work under cloak for benefits to themselves. That's one of the reasons it's said that pirates are successful: they produce a better quality product.
    • by Tom (822)
      If Blizzard does fsck up my machine, I have legal and social recourse.

      You should try reading these EULA things you click on. You don't have legal options if software goes bad. You'd have to prove intent, and prove is the keyword there.
    • One word rebuttal: Sony.
  • by walnutmon (988223) on Monday October 09, 2006 @09:21PM (#16373075)
    I am totally for supporting the PC Gaming industry, that means I purchase games made by publishers that I want to support. I pirate games all the time, they are generally games that I want to use as a time kill but that are not impressive enough for me to shell out fifty bucks for.

    I have bought the following games in the last year or so...

    Half-Life 2, Oblivion, Rome Total War, Age of Empires 3, Doom 3...

    Those are games that I want the developers and publishers to continue making money on. I also make a point in trying to pirate anything that EA releases, because I am a Madden fan (I just like football games, sue me) and I am sick of their fucking bullshit when it comes to releasing unfinished "next-gen" shit. I sure would like a good football game to play on my xBox360, unfortunately, EA has fucked everyone who loves the sport and the sport gaming genre.

    So my point was... Support good games... and fuck EA :)
    • by cliffski (65094)
      so wheres the incentive for anyone to try and make new good games that you 'use as a timekill'? you dont think the makers of thsoe games deserve a few bucks? You only have 90 years on this earth, if your prepared to spend a few hours of that short time playing someones game, shouldnt they be paid? even if its not half lfie two.
      You could say that you pay for a good steak, a nice meal in a five star restaurant, but when your just hungry, you steal some food from mcdonalds.
      If anything its the makers of those s
  • by grapeape (137008) <mpope7@kc . r r . c om> on Monday October 09, 2006 @09:34PM (#16373171) Homepage
    Why not go back to the days of looking up phrases in the manual or code wheels. Yep they are a pain in the neck but not nearly as much as having to have the cd in the drive when you would rather listen to music or having contact phone home and starforce type protections bogging down your system. I would have to think that the old school methods were at least as effective as the new ones and a heck of alot cheaper. Print a manual in a low contrast color scheme to make it hard to copy and integrate the protection into the games storyline. Spending millions on methods that actually result in easier pirating makes no sense. At least with the manual lookup you would have to find a way to copy and print out the entire book, today with the current methods all you have to do is download a crack.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Animats (122034)

      Why not go back to the days of looking up phrases in the manual?

      I still remember an engineering application for the Mac which used that approach. Just before shipping the product, they made some change to the manual which forced repagination of some of the later pages. So when the program asked for "the last word on page 20", it would work fine, but if it asked for "the last word on page 250", it would fail. Grrr. Took me weeks to figure out what was wrong, and even longer before the company finally

      • by lordmage (124376)
        Your missing the point. Those were so easy to get past.

        Hexedit the answers to all be blank.. so blank compare to enter.. = in.
        When the enter is pressed, it does a comparison and if they compare it runs the good code, change the CMP JZ to a straight JMP.. and your off.

        Wait.. I must be living in the past..

        INT 13 calls to a damaged floppy were interesting!

    • While you would probably not see cracks for games come out before the product was released, anything with this "protection" would have a 0-day crack. It wouldn't take too long to compile a list of possible questions and solutions. Put that into a convenient XML file, create a pretty front end to search it and post to your favorite copy protection removal site.
  • by Xian97 (714198) on Monday October 09, 2006 @11:24PM (#16373913)
    Oblivion, one of the best selling games of the year, shipped with no protection at all. To listen to the copy protection companies you would think that they would have only been able to sell a handful of copies since anyone could rip and copy it in minutes. Instead, within a month over 1.7 million copies were sold (counting the 360 version as well).

    There is not a major game that isn't cracked within days of release, if not hours. Protections may stop the casual copier, but they are not even slowing down anyone else. All the protection is doing is inconveniencing the consumer who is unable to easily back up their purchase.

    There are always going to be those that won't pay for a product no matter what, but I believe that the majority of people will pay for something that's worth paying for. With the hours I spent playing Oblivion, it was well worth the purchase price, and by not putting invasive DRM on it I am much more inclined to purchase Bethesda software in the future.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @04:38AM (#16375411)
    It's good ol' market forces at work.

    Demand: Game
    Supply, legal trader: Game with Starforce for 60 bucks, and it's legal.
    Supply, pirate: Game without Starforce for 0 bucks, and it's illegal.
    Demand: No starforce 'cause it already ruined one of my DVD drives. Price doesn't really matter, a good game is worth its money. Legality would be nice, but it's behind in priority to "no starforce".

    Decision: Pirated software.
    Reason: Starforce.
  • Aside from what has been mentioned, something that would make me buy a game would be if I got a nice manual. I never read manuals, but I like looking at pictures.

    So I'd like an actual manual in one language only, preferably english. Translations are never good and just take up precious space. Instead I'd like to see gloss paper and a good color print. I'd like to see large clear screenshots and (concept) art tastefully arranged in a spacious layout, absolutely no strange typefaces or tiled backgrounds/b

  • (okay...I'm in a Jimmy Bufffet mood). I don't play many games anymore...my reactions are just not what they used to be. I have a collection of games I've burnt from the net. Probably played 4 of them. Mostly I'll play a bit, decide it sucks and am glad I didn't buy it. A couple I have really liked so I bought them - aka vote with the wallet. I guess in theory, I just hurt the game industry because I played two titles without buying them. But at the same time I bought two titles. Lawyers I guess w

Are we running light with overbyte?

Working...