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Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified

The Kickstarter page for Shadowrun Returns has word from Harebrained Schemes about their promise to provide a DRM-free version of the Shadowrun revival, and how this will and will not conflict with their plans to offer a version on Steam in addition to a standalone release. They explain that their license agreement with Microsoft actually requires the game and its DLC to include DRM, and while they managed to negotiate an exception to provide DRM-free editions of the game and the Berlin Campaign reward DLC for their backers, this will not apply to any other releases, so they will not be able to sell the game on or in any other DRM-free way, and all future DLC after Berlin Campaign will be only release though Steam. So to sum this up: Kickstarter backers of Shadowrun Returns are entitled to a DRM-free standalone version of the game with editor and mod support (and future patches) as well as a DRM-free copy of the reward DLC, but if they want to purchase future DLC after that, they must install the Steam version (which is also included in their backer rewards). Thanks nin.

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108. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 15, 2013, 09:28 Beamer
Flatline wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 21:40:
Julio wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 18:01:
Cutter wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 16:40:
it's pretty fucking clear this isn't fraud. They are delivering exactly what they said they would.

They aren't exactly delivering what they said they would. They didn't mention the DRM free version won't be DLC capable. Given the DLC can be used in user built mod content, it means some user mods will not be usable with the DRM free version in the future. If they had made this clear at the beginning - no issue at all.

How about refunds, or allowing backers to trade down to lower tiers - nope, they're not doing that either.

Beamer wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 17:43:
Fraud, in regards to a Kickstarter, is essentially impossible, by the way...We have no recourse.

Just because there's no recourse, doesn't mean fraud can't happen.

It would the same to claim there was no fraud in the 2008 financial crisis because zero wall street executives were prosecuted for fraud. No recourse, I think we all know there was fraud there (of course someone may want to argue this point - who knows).


Actually dude you have a legal recourse. You can sue Hairbrained Games. There's legal precedence for failure to deliver product in a kickstarter.

Thing is, if you actually lawyered up and went to court you'd be laughed straight out of court. Because you're a dipshit.
This isn't entirely true.

To my knowledge there's been one lawsuit based on Kickstarter, and it was in a Justice Court which leaves no precedent. A guy sued for his $70 back. And he didn't get it, because the guy he sued went bankrupt.

Kickstarter is not a promise of goods. It is not a store. It's not an investment, either. It's a donation, typically in exchange for a promise to get something if the project succeeds.

The project does not always succeed.

For the aforementioned lawsuit, the guy doing it had no clue how to run a company. He didn't negotiate his vendor contracts until after the Kickstarter ended. This is common, but the result was all his vendors knowing how much money he had available and being ruthless in negotiations. He did not lock his team in until afterwards, and several of his teammates made unreasonable demands after the Kickstarter ending, with one refusing to give up some crucial design documents until he got 50% of the company (ultimately helping lead to the company folding.)

But, per Kickstarter, nothing wrong was done. Kickstarter is not an investment, nor is it a store, nor is it a promise. Projects fail before coming to market all the time. Or change drastically.

Really, the best you can do is demand your money back.

And, in this case, you can't do that. They promised something without DRM. They will likely deliver something with DRM. Do you know what any court would say? You were promised a game and you got a game. That's it. Guess what: courts do not enforce every single part of a contract, assuming they'd even call this a contract. They determine if something is a condition or a promise (with Kickstarter, almost always definitely a promise), then if it's material or immaterial:
In determining whether a failure to render or to offer performance is material, the following circumstances are significant: (a) the extent to which the injured party will be deprived of the benefit which he reasonably expected; (b) the extent to which the injured party can be adequately compensated for the part of that benefit of which he will be deprived; (c) the extent to which the party failing to perform or to offer to perform will suffer forfeiture; (d) the likelihood that the party failing to perform or to offer to perform will cure his failure, taking account of all the circumstances including any reasonable assurances; (e) the extent to which the behavior of the party failing to perform or to offer to perform comports with standards of good faith and fair dealing.

In the case of not being DRM-free enough, I doubt it would pass as being found material by most courts. It comes back down to whether the software is in any way less usable. I do not think a court would find there was any kind of damages here. You have your game, you can play your game, and financially you have lost no money. Sure, you paid for a DRM-free game, but what you really paid for was the game. You wanted the game. It being DRM-free just made it better to you. But it isn't as if the game is objectively worth less because it has DRM.
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