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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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27. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 13:33 Alamar
 
Krovven wrote on Aug 24, 2011, 13:19:
It's just fucking wrong that From Dust appears to be outselling Bastion on Steam.

Bastion = great game with no DRM issues.

From Dust = Good game, with DRM and control issues.


I have been trying hard to spread the word... And it even comes with a (reasonably sized) demo... But everyone is too busy playing Deus...

-Alamar
 
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26. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 13:25 Verno
 
Yeah I agree. I've actually played the 360 version of From Dust too and while interesting it is very much a one trick pony. Bastion is by far the better game.  
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25. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 13:19 Krovven
 
It's just fucking wrong that From Dust appears to be outselling Bastion on Steam.

Bastion = great game with no DRM issues.

From Dust = Good game, with DRM and control issues.

 
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24. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 13:18 Alamar
 
Beelzebud wrote on Aug 24, 2011, 12:54:
As far as I know there has never been an "unbreakable" DRM scheme. MMO's don't count because you need a subscription to play, but as far as copy protection an "unbreakable" scheme simply doesn't exist.

In fact, outside of MMO's I don't think there was been one game that hasn't been cracked. It's a losing battle, and punishing your customers is just stupid.

Was Guild Wars ever cracked? It's not an MMO : )

Annnnnd... WoW was, which is an MMO... kind of a big one, last I heard...

If a game requires an online component (not just a check), it's definitely much harder to crack, but as we've seen with battle.net, WoW, etc emulators, there are some very determined people.

Diablo 3, as a good future example, will likely be cracked... The game will require a connection any time a character load/save is initiated, but all that is, is a network connection to a server storing that info... Likely there will be a component included with the pirated version that you can run to simulate this (and the crack would include redirecting that connection to localhost/127.0.0.1).

In the end, it comes down to cost/benefit, as everything does, including deciding to add DRM to your title.

Back on topic (how'd I get there?), Ubi's perception is they get more benefit than the cost expended, so it's a win for them... Time and again, the world has proven that reality is not as important as perception : )

-Alamar
 
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23. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 13:13 Verno
 
Satoru wrote on Aug 24, 2011, 13:08:
One time online activation has been extremely effective against games being released before their street date. Pre-street date releases of PC games are pretty much in the minority now. Where as on the console side it's still a major problem.

I'm not sure about that, I think if I go back over the past two years there have been a fair number of pre-release leaks of PC titles with online activation. There's nothing really tying online activation to less pre-release piracy that can't also be the result of a dozen other factors.

I don't agree with your conclusion either, I think if anything it would be more related to the fact that digital distribution has taken over to a large extent that many of the old sources for early PC releases simply aren't around anymore. Most pre-release leaks come from review and retail sources. Publishers have wisened up to this in many ways and delay shipments as long as possible. They've also started using better methods of tracking review copies or sourcing them via DD sites.

The PC AAA side of the industry has largely waned while the consoles became more prevalent. Console games need more advance notice for many reasons so they probably get their copies much sooner and due to their increased popularity it is a lot easier to get your hands on a game pre-release and upload it somewhere.

Your Wrong, HAWX 2. There are no known cracks for that game. Itís one of those games where the Scene has not put a lot of effort into cracking. Again, they sit, wait and buy it when itís cheap.

He's not wrong then, it's not unbreakable it's just that no one cares. The same scheme has been used in other titles and was circumvented.

This comment was edited on Aug 24, 2011, 13:19.
 
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22. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 13:12 Mead
 
baltar wrote on Aug 24, 2011, 11:36:
Last time I bought a Ubi game was Tom Clancy's Hawx - it had no DRM.
To this day I still read that game title and think, "Why would Tom Clancy put his name on a skateboard game?"
 
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21. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 13:08 Satoru
 
  • Verno wrote on Aug 24, 2011, 11:36:
    That's the distinction that consumers, or Bluesnewsians don't seem to get... DRM works... CD checks worked... Windows Activation works...

    What exactly are you basing this on? The existence of these things doesn't define their effectiveness. In fact they quite often have demonstrably little effect on piracy judging by the industries numbers and complaints about it.

    One time online activation has been extremely effective against games being released before their street date. Pre-street date releases of PC games are pretty much in the minority now. Where as on the console side it's still a major problem.
     
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    20. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 13:08 Beelzebud
     
    Wow that is truly a first! Not a first tier game for sure, but I'm amazed no one has done it just for the challenge.  
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    19. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 13:03 Darks
     
    Beelzebud wrote on Aug 24, 2011, 12:54:
    As far as I know there has never been an "unbreakable" DRM scheme. MMO's don't count because you need a subscription to play, but as far as copy protection an "unbreakable" scheme simply doesn't exist.

    In fact, outside of MMO's I don't think there was been one game that hasn't been cracked. It's a losing battle, and punishing your customers is just stupid.

    Your Wrong, HAWX 2. There are no known cracks for that game. Itís one of those games where the Scene has not put a lot of effort into cracking. Again, they sit, wait and buy it when itís cheap.
     
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    18. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 12:59 Tumbler
     
    I REALLY want to buy HOMM6, especially after having every HOMM game ever made.

    I'd strongly recommend playing the demo. There is a lot of content in that demo which lets you play the game for a long time. It's not what I'm looking for but in the interests of making an informed purchase it's a huge benefit to have that demo available.

    It's a monster to download but worth it in my opinion.
     
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    17. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 12:54 Beelzebud
     
    As far as I know there has never been an "unbreakable" DRM scheme. MMO's don't count because you need a subscription to play, but as far as copy protection an "unbreakable" scheme simply doesn't exist.

    In fact, outside of MMO's I don't think there was been one game that hasn't been cracked. It's a losing battle, and punishing your customers is just stupid.
     
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    16. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 12:53 baltar
     
    Right now I'm just hopeing UBI takes note and stops harassing people with DRM. I REALLY want to buy HOMM6, especially after having every HOMM game ever made.  
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    15. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 12:45 Darks
     
    Verno wrote on Aug 24, 2011, 11:01:
    They keep taking the position that "its effective at reducing piracy" which I think is more like "its effective at reducing interest in the products" more than anything else. I don't buy or pirate any Ubisoft titles with this DRM.

    DRM only keeps honest people honest. Itís been shown in the past that those who pirate games will almost never buy a game. They will only buy a game if itís been shown to be a great title and has the options like, DM or Coop that is a driving force for them to actually buy it. Pirates will continue to pirate games no matter what. DRM only slows them down until itís either cracked or shown to not be worth cracking or unable to be cracked. And if its unbreakable, then most will wait it out for the bargain bin or steam sales.
     
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    14. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 12:45 Tumbler
     
    This is my whole issue with these locked / secure software purchases. Not allowing you to resell software makes this kind of thing a problem for paying consumers and it should never be. You buy this game and it turns out to be shit and you never want to play it again for whatever reason you should have options to either get your money back or sell it to someone else. (a least something like a trial period or a partial refund offered in first 24 hours)

    This comment was edited on Aug 24, 2011, 12:56.
     
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    13. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 12:38 Darks
     
    Pankin wrote on Aug 24, 2011, 12:04:
    Now here's a great example of community outcry changing corporate decisions. Yes, they waited until it was too late...but they changed it. I wonder how gung-ho id software and Blizzard are feeling now?

    Iím loving it, this is a really good thing to see happening. its sending a message loud and clear and Ubi is now in reactionary mode to try and recover some of their dignity. And yes, I do hope that others are watching this one and seeing that we as user are getting fed up with all the DRM they are trying to force down out throats.
     
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    12. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 12:21 Beelzebud
     
    Let's look at the facts.

    The people who pirated the game (and it was available for pirating on day 1) don't have to put up with any side effects.

    The people who have to put up with the DRM are the paying customers. Apparently the side effects were bad enough that a significant number of people have been requesting a refund from Steam. To me that says that in this case the DRM has actually HURT SALES. People who wanted to BUY the game are having to ask for a refund because the DRM (which stopped no one from pirating the game) is screwing them out of what they paid for.

    You see, the pirates just hummed right along with their cracked version like there was no DRM at all. The only people that it put out were the ones who actually paid for the game.

    Is stopping a couple of dumb pirates from leeching the game worth giving the company a bad name with the people who actually buy games?
     
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    11. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 12:04 Pankin
     
    Now here's a great example of community outcry changing corporate decisions. Yes, they waited until it was too late...but they changed it. I wonder how gung-ho id software and Blizzard are feeling now?
     
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    10. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 11:56 zincthallinide
     
    With the prevalence of sites like thepiratebay and torrents in general, I don't think an argument can be made anymore that DRM/copy protection reduces piracy.

    Back in the olden days when you had to hang out on IRC and hope for ftp sites and rejigger stty blah blah, sure.. but that was decades ago, during that '20th century' thing
     
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    9. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 11:41 Creston
     
    baltar wrote on Aug 24, 2011, 11:36:
    Don't worry Creston - People are rewarding Eidos..

    I sure hope so. They deserve it.

    Creston
     
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    8. Re: Steam From Dust Refunds Aug 24, 2011, 11:36 Verno
     
    That's the distinction that consumers, or Bluesnewsians don't seem to get... DRM works... CD checks worked... Windows Activation works...

    What exactly are you basing this on? The existence of these things doesn't define their effectiveness. In fact they quite often have demonstrably little effect on piracy judging by the industries numbers and complaints about it.
     
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