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Shadowrun Returns DRM Ending

Harebrained Schemes took to Kickstarter to share the good news that they have negotiated an end to the DRM in Shadowrun Returns, saying this will allow them to release DRM-free versions of the game and its future expansions:

We just want to send out a quick update to share some good news. Thanks to a new agreement we were able to negotiate with our partners at Microsoft, Harebrained Schemes is pleased to announce that we are now able to release fully DRM-free versions of Shadowrun Returns and future expansions such as Berlin.

The DRM-free versions of SRR and Berlin will continue to be fully supported. You'll be able to download all game patches, use the Shadowrun Returns editor and experience user-generated content downloaded from third-party sites such as Nexus.

We’re starting work to get Shadowrun Returns available on GOG.com right now - not sure how long that will take but we’ll let you know as soon as we have an answer.

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35. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Ending Nov 13, 2013, 17:51 Sho
 
Flatline wrote on Nov 13, 2013, 17:38:
Some people had meweling purple kittens when it was announced the game would be steam-centric. During the kickstarter they promised backers DRM free software. While they delivered that to kickstarters it wasn't enough because apparently on that shoestring budget Hairbrained should have created a centralized distribution mod database system in addition to delivering a longer game with more content and free hookers and blow for everyone who ordered.

These are often the same people who when a new, great game comes out they'll automatically post "waiting for the 5 dollar steam sale".

Yeah ... or you could represent the concerns and the criticism people had accurately:

Kickstarter is not a shop, it's a crowdfunding platform. Backers aren't customers, they're more like investors. They bear a risk. Given that, they have an obvious interest in mitigating their risk by being well-informed in advance of making their decision to back a project.

Now, crowdfunding, especially at the time, also had a few of the qualities of a social movement - a fact that Harebrained's pitch certainly tapped into and benefited from. The ideas floating around at the time involved for example cutting out middle-men between customer and game maker, increased transparency and additional freedoms for both game makers and customers (which DRM runs counter to).

In this context, Harebrained clearly made a mistake in not being explicit in their pitch about the fact that they had to license Shadowrun from Microsoft, and more importantly that Microsoft might, and ultimately did, put restrictions on them that initially precluded them from offering more than the base game DRM-free.

Or to sum it up more simply: It's entirely believable that some people would have decided not to back the game if those risks had been known to them. Some people would have decided not to back it if it meant supporting a game that wasn't going to be available DRM-free to the general public, because their participation in crowdfunding was motivated by furthering the development of games that are, as Harebrained arguably presented Shadowrun Returns to be one. They squandered quite a bit of trust with that -- but at least for myself, that they worked to resolve the situation restores a lot of it.

As for Steam specifically, see the earlier post.
 
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