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Stardock's DRM Plans

Edge Online has word on plans to create a new Digital Rights Management solution from Stardock, a developer/publisher vocally opposed to DRM in the past. While Stardock prez Brad Wardell maintains they do not plan on adding DRM to their own games, other publishers have challenged them to help make DRM more acceptable to consumers: "So the publishers are telling us, 'Put your money where your mouth is. Why don't you guys develop something that you think is suitable that would protect our IP, but would be more acceptable to users?' We're investigating what would make users happy to protect their needs, but also provide some security for the publishers. ... We're actually developing a technology that would do that." They are exploring ways to make it possible to reinstall a game after losing the physical media, and are soliciting ideas from users about what will and won't be acceptable from their points of view.

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16. Re: Stardock's DRM Plans Oct 24, 2008, 23:02 Shadowcat
I want to be able to play my games without needing to put a CD/DVD in the drive each time. I take care of my discs, but it's still a concern, and an inconvenience. I want to play my single-player and LAN games (or portions thereof) without having to have an internet connection. An internet connection should not be required unless internet communication is integral to the game itself.

I do not want to ever need to 'activate' a game online, because no matter how much the relevant party assures me that they will (a) always be there, or (b) patch this behaviour out of each and every one of their games if they ever go out of business, I do NOT want to have to RELY on this being the case. I play a lot of old games, and in many cases the developer or publisher is no longer around; and even when they are very much alive and kicking I have found (to my disgust) that it is not uncommon to be unable to find ANY support information for an older game on the publisher's own web site (and a Flash-laden rubbish web site it usually is, too), so this is a serious issue to me, and frankly I have lost faith in long-term support.

I am entirely happy to have a unique serial number supplied with the game, which I must enter when I install it.

If I purchase a download, I would very much LIKE to be able to download the game repeatedly in the future. This is largely because writeable CDs and DVDs do not have the same reliability and longevity as stamped discs, so I simply cannot make a backup disc that I can guarantee will work at some arbitrary point in the future. I wouldn't insist on this, but it would be a highly attractive feature.

I see myself giving a lot of my future business to and those indie developers who eschew DRM entirely, but if Stardock is happy to release titles in the manner I've outlined, then I will be very happy to do my business with them as well. (I am aware that their own titles seem to have a very reasonable approach, so I am thinking more about their third-party titles here.)

I have a large collection of PC games representing a serious sum of money poured into this hobby to date, but modern DRM methods have already been actively putting me off buying new games. (I won't pirate them, but nor will I be giving anyone any money.)

I'm sorry the piracy situation exists, I really am. It sucks. But while I can get my gaming fixes from legitimate customer-friendly sources, I have little desire to deal any longer with increasingly severe restrictions that the pirates themselves do not have to worry about -- and even the more minor restrictions are becoming irritating in the face of some delightfully DRM-free alternatives.

Start caring about the honest gamers again, and we'll come to the party.
This comment was edited on Oct 24, 2008, 23:07.
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