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Steam From Dust Refunds

Valve has been sending notifications to customers who purchased From Dust on Steam offering refunds on the god game over its DRM requiring online authentication, reports Rock, Paper, Shotgun. This follows indications last week that some customers were able to get such refunds which were not confirmed at the time, and Monday's announcement that this aspect of the game's DRM will be removed by a patch within a couple of weeks. Here's the email reproduced on RPS:

Ubisoft has just announced that they are working on a patch that will eliminate the need for any online authentication for From Dust. The patch will release in approximately two weeks.

If you don't want to wait or the patch or if you haven't played the game, per Ubisoft's request, we will issue refunds for this title.

If you would still like your purchase of From Dust to be refunded, please reply to this ticket.

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29. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 13:39 Ruffiana
Creston wrote on Aug 24, 2011, 11:34:
Alamar wrote on Aug 24, 2011, 11:22:
That's the distinction that consumers, or Bluesnewsians don't seem to get... DRM works... CD checks worked... Windows Activation works...

You have no idea whether it does or not. You THINK it does, but that's not cold hard fact. You have no numbers one way or the other.

Common sense says if you lock something up, it's less likely to be stolen. Otherwise, you have no proof that it doesn't stop piracy, so your statement is an arguement from ignorance.

Does DRM affect sales? Unarguably, it probably does to some degree. There's at least one person who will not buy a game because of its DRM. Probably fewer than the total number of peopel who claim they won't buy a game because of the DRM, but ultimately end up buying it anyway because they really want to play it.

But one has to both 1) be ware of the DRM being used and 2) care enough about the inconvenience of that DRM to avoid buying the game they want to play. I would argue that that's a smaller demographic than people who might be casual, the type of person willing to burn a copy of a game they've bought on to a DVD for their friends or family. I certainly know my own family was guilty of this for years before DRM started really being implemented. But thinking that the stringent anti-DRM gamers represent a majority of customers is about as misguided as thinking that the Tea-Partyers represent the majority of America.

Ultimately, none of us have access to the data that could prove how effective or in-effective DRM is towards the bottom line, but ultimately DRM is not there to help make more money through inconveniencing legitimate customers. DRM is there to help make the people investing millions of dollars into developing a game and bringing it to market feel safer that their investement isn't just going to vanish into the ether of unlimited digital duplication and distribution through piracy. It doesn't matter if that fear is largely unfounded, or's a genuine concern for capital investmeent in an industry that needs a lot of capital to operate.

This comment was edited on Aug 24, 2011, 13:46.
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