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Supreme Cmdr

Videogame piracy and the PC gaming industry

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Digital distribution is the best we can achieve right now, I think. It gives developers and publishers a measure of security and gives customers convenience. Just don't forget that it is there as much for the customer as the developer. As soon as it becomes simply a tool to keep the unwashed masses in check, then it has lost it's true purpose.

My only current concern is not being able to play if I lost my internet connection. Some games won't allow you to play unless your connection is on. Thank the gaming gods that SC has released his older games as freeware because if I am on a desert island with only 110V and no 'net, I can still make Gammulans eat hot photons and abandon Resnig on any one of "more than 250 planets".

rp

The crazy castaway giggles as Resnig's LF dips lower and lower.

/rp

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Digital distribution is the best we can achieve right now, I think. It gives developers and publishers a measure of security and gives customers convenience.

No it doesn't. The copy protection used in digital distribution games is no more harder to defeat than the ones used on CD/DVD media.

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As a ToTA buyer and beta-player (I wasn't interested in "testing", I just wanted to play), I have seen plenty of reported issues with Stardock's online authentication process. I have also read various articles reporting the "collateral damage" of escalating copy protection. Given the fact that pirates are downright obsessive about "cracking" the latest system, I doubt that the problem can be effectively managed from a software standpoint.

As a PC gaming fan, I can do my small part by posting an occasional anti-piracy theme and continuing to PAY for the games I play. I may get banned from a forum or two for "flaming" someone who admits to piracy, but that's just the way the cookie crumbles. Less posting time equals more gaming time...................

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EA and BIOWARE will use a new securom activation :

"SecuROM

SecuROM is the copy protection and security program included in Mass Effect PC.

Mass Effect PC uses SecuROM which requires an online activation for the first time you play Mass Effect PC after installation. After the first activation, SecuROM requires that it re-check with the server within ten days in order to revalidate the CD key. If it can't contact the server before the 10 days are up, the game still runs and it will re-check until it is successful. If the check is not successfully performed within the 10 day period, Mass Effect will not run until an online check is successful.

Each copy of Mass Effect comes with a CD Key which is used for the SecuROM activation and for registration here at the BioWare Community.

SecuROM does not require the Mass Effect DVD to be in the drive in order to play, it is only for installation."

I copy it from masseffect forum FAQ.

The link for a long, long discussion about this new securom issue :

http://masseffect.bioware.com/forums/viewt...um=125&sp=0

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I'm not very happy with the 'phone home' every ten days to stay active.

Even with a ten day grace period.

So, if I'm deployed on a submarine, I can play for twenty days,

then unable to play for the next few months until I get internet access again.

brilliant.

Some games I load years later, will their activation servers be up then?

It took me eight years and three systems to complete Ultima IX.

And I still had to use the 'fly cheat' to get the items needed,

after each shrine restoration, to complete the game.

I 'roamed' in BCM for years, and am cruising through UCCE now.

I'm glad I do not have to phone home with these ever few days.

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This is an improvement, thats for sure. Singleplayer games though in my opinion really shouldn't have anything online mandatory for them. However, online activation is liveable in this age of the internet. However, the limited amount of installs until you must contact by phone the home company, that annoys me a bit.

I reformat regularly for various reasons, once I get Spore (cannot run Mass Effect, *glares at 2400XT*) I'll have to be calling EA probably every three or four months to reactivate the title that I paid and own. It just gets annoying. I'm hopeing that they will introduce an email based or online tool based way of doing it. I hate calling people.

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heh, a follow up...

http://www.gamecritics.com/mass-effect-piracy-and-drm-part-2

...which says exactly what I said on their forum and elsewhere

Gamers have pointed to Stardock as an example of how to run a successful PC studio without DRM; however, I feel the comparison is moot, because Stardock is a very small company and games like Galactic Civilizations and Sins of a Solar Empire are not expected to sell, or be pirated, on a scale comparable to games like Crysis, Call of Duty 4 and Unreal Tournament 3, all of which were very heavily pirated on the PC. Because a small company like Stardock doesn't have the tens-of-millions budget that a company like EA or Epic has, selling a hundred thousand units would be considered a big success for them, even if another three hundred thousand pirated the game. With big budget games, the risks are greater and the effects of piracy are more serious. It's also worth noting that piracy has indeed crippled small developers, as was famously borne out recently when Iron Lore shut down, which was followed by a passionate criticism of PC gaming (and PC gamers) by THQ Director of Creative Management Michael Fitch.

oh and....

http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=1656

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Bioware has confirmed that they will release a patch if the server holding the required information for the DRM on Mass Effect (no word on such a thing for Spore) is permanently removed. one less thing to worry about at least...

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