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On Risen 2 DRM

The World of Risen Forums have an update from Deep Silver on copy protection in Risen 2: Dark Waters, saying the upcoming pirate-themed action/RPG sequel will use Steamworks in all territories to secure their game (thanks Shacknews). He outlines the priorities that lead to this decision, saying they sought a system providing a combination of security, compatibility, comfort, support, and reliability. Here's the outline of how the game's DRM will work:

Steam offers an automated update system which allows all customers to play the latest version of Risen 2 since all patches will be delivered automatically to their PC. Steam has been running stable on millions of PCs out there, so it provides the reliability we need. The digital copy of Risen 2 will also not require two different copy protections on Steam (compared to Risen 1).

Risen 2 will be playable without a DVD in the drive if the product has been added to a Steam account (Steam accounts are free) and will be available for download on other PCs if you’re on the move and still want to play Risen 2. The Steam account itself has been further fortified by the optional Steam Guard system which adds another layer of security. Steam also offers a big array of community features: chats, game groups, achievements and the player can even upload up to 1000 screenshots to share his/her experience in the world of Risen 2. All those features convinced us that Steam offers the right package of features, reliability and security for us.

Naturally we also wanted to keep the restrictions, which are part of any copy protection, as unobtrusive as possible. You will only be required to be online once – to link your game to your Steam account and afterwards you will be able to play offline and without DVD in the drive. You will also be able to install Risen 2 from your Steam account on as many systems you like.

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27. Re: On Risen 2 DRM Jul 26, 2011, 15:54 Satoru
 
Personally I've only ever heard a few arguments whenever any Steam only game comes out and most of them are pretty silly.

1) I HATE DRM. Ok... fine. But do you own any of the following: any console, dvd or blu-ray player, a TV with HDMI, and practically every electronic device has some kind of DRM enabled. I don't disagree that less drm would be better, but to boycott something because of it seems a bit incongruous given the ubiquity of it in the marketplace. You'd pretty much have to crawl into a hole in the ground to totally avoid DRM products in general.

2) I HATE STEAM. Ok.. .fine. But why? Usually it's 'because it runs in the background', like your IM client, Skype, etc. so why single Steam out? You could always not have Steam running on startup and kill it when you finish playing if that's your cup of tea. Or it falls into the I HATE DRM, scheme so refer above.

3) What if Steam goes bankrupt. This seems like an odd argument. Look at the current high profile shutdowns of APB, Dirt, and all the old sports game servers. These seem like much more pressing concerns than Steam going bankrupt. Not that it isn't a 'possibility' of course.

The only actual legitimate concerns I've heard are

1) Bandwidth usage in areas were internet is metered or is at some ungodly slow speed. This is definitely unfortunate. It definitely underscores the digital divide that exists.

2) Inability to control patches locally. Though this is usually related to the above issue, where users want to control patch downloads either due to bandwidth problems. Civ5 had an interesting discussion where because specific patches are so gameplay changing that users didn't want the latest patches to totally screw up their existing saves. That problem seems to be pretty Civ5 specific though. The bandwidth problem is usually the most often cited issue with patch controls.

Admittedly I like Steam, because I live in a region where I can fully utilise the capabilities of it to my advantage. I realise that other people who are disadvantaged with bandwidth either by cost or availability would dislike Steam.

I think ultimately devs choose Steam due to it's advantages over competing download platforms. Most notably the availablity of achievements, automatic patch management, distribution cost reduction, and DRM.
 
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