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Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash

The Starbreeze Forums and Atari Forums for The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena each have threads complaining about the game's DRM, describing a non-revocable three-installation limit that does not allow further installations after it has been reached. This has inspired another protest centered on the reviews on the Amazon listing for the game, where an increasing number of reviews complain about the DRM. We contacted Atari about this and received the following response:

The protection on the PC version of The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena is an activation system with online authentication required the first time you install the game on a machine. The activation code lets you install the game on up to 3 machines, with an unlimited number of installs on each assuming that you donít change any major hardware in your PC or re-install your operating system.

If you reach the maximum number of installations you can contact the Atari hotline and if itís a legitimate request you can get a new activation code.

We implement this protection in an effort to avoid early piracy.

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110 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 1.
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110. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 26, 2009, 10:34 dryden555
 
Verno -- not true on college campuses in the US and UK where _everyone_ knows about torrents and there's mighty amounts of free university bandwidth to use. Any digital-based media is downloaded with abandon. Believe me.

 
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109. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 14, 2009, 12:59 Tumbler
 
Torrent clients aren't default installed on OEM systems which comprise the majority of desktop and laptop sales in the world. The majority of users have no idea what BitTorrent is and if you asked them to "just torrent it" they would ask if you're talking about a thick rain downfall. Nothing is easy when you have no idea what it is, how it works or what it does. That's forgetting all of the crap with rar files and so on.

I'd love to see an add-on that makes torrents work in Firefox... There may already be one for all I know...but I get the impression that despite how popular Torrents are becoming for legit purposes the RIAA and it's pals would flip the fuck out if torrents were adopted by mainstream America. And I have no doubt that they are working very hard to keep this stuff in the shadows.
 
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108. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 14, 2009, 12:05 Verno
 
All of that is harder than going to piratebay and clicking on a torrent.

I don't really care to insert myself into the middle of this little debate but I'd just like to point out that:

Torrent clients aren't default installed on OEM systems which comprise the majority of desktop and laptop sales in the world. The majority of users have no idea what BitTorrent is and if you asked them to "just torrent it" they would ask if you're talking about a thick rain downfall. Nothing is easy when you have no idea what it is, how it works or what it does. That's forgetting all of the crap with rar files and so on.
 
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107. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 14, 2009, 00:56 Jerykk
 
They mostly profit from concerts and licensing now, which are not things you can pirate away from them.

You sure about that? You have anything to support that claim? I know that iTunes is very successful and it is essentially the same as pirating music, only legal.

Movies on the other hand most people pay for quality. The average bootleg sucks, quality wise, and has no special features.

I'm guessing you don't actually pirate movies. You can get HD quality Bluray/HD-DVD/HDTV rips with ease. You can also get DVD rips that look the same as retail. Thanks to torrents, piracy is easier than ever and requires minimal tech savvy. As for special features, you can get those too. However, I don't think most customers really care about that stuff. How many people actually listen to commentary tracks or watch behind-the-scenes footage? Film buffs, sure, but the average joe? Unlikely.

I have people on forums ask me on a daily basis how to submit a Steam support ticket, or how to search for a patch on google, or how to use fraps.

All of that is harder than going to piratebay and clicking on a torrent.

The average IQ in America is like 92 I think... people aren't smart on average... most of them probably buy DVDs and games because it's damn easy to do so, go to the store and buy it, put the disc in, play it, and voila!

I can't argue with you there. People are generally stupid and lazy so convenience is a very large factor in sales. However, with the mainstream penetration of torrents and P2P, piracy is really, really easy to do these days.

The simple fact is that if you had a guy stand outside Gamestop handing out free copies of some new game, no charge no questions, very few people would walk past him to buy the game.

Most likely. However, I'm not asking that publishers do that. They can still charge for their games. However, it doesn't make any sense for them to inconvenience paying customers with DRM. As you mentioned, convenience is a big part of sales and copy-protection definitely isn't convenient. CD-checks, CD-keys, activations, limited installs... people just want to install the game and play. The fewer barriers between a customer and the game, the better. History has shown that copy-protection really isn't effective unless your game is multiplayer. Even then, there's no proof that removing a CD-key from an online game would decrease sales. Ubisoft has taken a hint and released their past few games with no copy-protection whatsoever. Unfortunately, their last few games have been rather crappy. If they release a good game with no copy-protection, I will gladly pay full price for it.
 
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106. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 13, 2009, 16:29 Tumbler
 
I don't care for DRM but they do need to do something. It drives me crazy when someone is playing a game before I was able to while paying nothing for it.

Agreed. And other companies are doing things differently.

Relic has done a TON for Company of Heroes. In order to play online you need a legit CD key attached to an account and they continue to balance and improve their game and I think they started using SecuRom or something similar to that but none of it requires any type of online activation. You can't play online unless you create that account but using their online service is so much more convenient than having to drop my CD in each time. And their latest patch allows players without the Tales of Valor expansion to play against people with the expansion, plus they added little achievements and updated the whole interface with certain content locked out. They also offer updates via bitorrent which is very cool.

Relic has made promises on DoW2 as well to support it in a similar fashion but so far...they are releasing a patch today supposedly, with a new map...so let's hope that continues.

Valve, in general, supports all their games after release. Plenty of love for these games, it's wonderful to see this content showing up only to paying customers. I don't play TF2 very much but I was happy to drop the dollars on it just because they keep adding to it.

Stardock offered a ton of improvement and updates for Galactic Civilizations 2, and it was a great feeling getting those updates because I was a legit owner. (I don't think you had access to the patches if you weren't an online registered user)

Supreme commander offers a ton of updates online through their service. You can find mods, replays, patches, etc all through their online component. It's not in game content but it's a very big incentive to play the game online.
 
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105. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 13, 2009, 14:36 Verno
 
I don't care for DRM but they do need to do something. It drives me crazy when someone is playing a game before I was able to while paying nothing for it. First company to make a non-invasive piracy protection that's actually effective will make a fortune in this industry.  
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104. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 13, 2009, 11:35 Tumbler
 
The simple fact is that if you had a guy stand outside Gamestop handing out free copies of some new game, no charge no questions, very few people would walk past him to buy the game.

And when you add DRM to legit purchases the people that do walk past that guy and choose to buy the game in the store have even less reason to do so next time. Everyone gets that life can't function on the honor system. But this DRM stuff is just an exploitation of legit paying customers. It does nothing to pirates or preventing piracy. Why would there be any need for an activation limit at all? Is online activation not enough? You have to make sure that one copy isn't used "too much?". And publishers/devs get to decide when enough is enough?

This all started with Steam and HL2 (first HUGE game to use this type of thing). But steam made no attempts to stop you from installing it as many times as you wanted. Heck they kept the files ready to go on a server for you. By comparison the other companies only offer permission to play your game. And that permission is getting more strict as time goes by. (As is steam) 5 activations. Lets try 3. How about 2? How about 1? Why let them play the game offline at all? Why not have the game authenticate each time you boot it? And lets make sure no one gets to keep playing after 6 months. All licenses revoke after 6 months. Lets try 3 months, no no, lets try 1 month! And then we'll offer tons of free content right after that so people buy another license!

It's coming. This level of control will ruin PC gaming. I think it was about a year ago that the phrase "PC gaming is dead as we know it." was getting tossed around and I'm beginning to understand why so many people were saying that. The games will still be made but the days of offering a good product for a fair price are over. It's time to exploit our customers and offer products with ludicrous conditions and charge top dollar.

And the irony in all this is that the competition, consoles, stand ready to pounce. Instead of PC game companies making more money, consumers will flee in greater numbers each year to a platform that is not as restrictive. I think the general feeling is that PC games offer an experience that you can't get anywhere else so why not squeeze those guys for as much money as possible? There may be some truth to that but there is certainly enough choices out there to find the vast majority of PC gamers an alternative. And then there is piracy... Which no one seems to have an answer for. I'm trying to be a paying customer of games I like but each step companies take makes it harder to do so. I've already pushed most of my gaming dollar toward consoles, it's only recently with these steam sales and aggressive pricing have gotten more dollars for the PC gaming market. DRM sure hasn't. In the case of this game if I wanted to play it I'd only consider renting it on the consoles. And if by some miracle I wanted to buy it, that would also be only something I'd consider on consoles. (for a variety of reasons, it's probably made for consoles, it doesn't have the DRM activations, I can resell it easily, I can rent it first, no hardware issues to troubleshoot...)

This comment was edited on Apr 13, 2009, 12:45.
If this little box we typed into filled the scream the same way our comments do it would be much easier to format them for easy reading. I keep putting seperating spaces between my paragraphs but when I go review it they are just one big line. Is there no way to have this white box stretch out to the size of the screen?
 
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103. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 13, 2009, 09:03 Verno
 
Well said StingingVelvet, I could not agree more. It always amuses me when people talk about trust yet ignore all of the evidence that man inherently cannot be trusted. It's why we create a society of laws and have to enforce those laws. We want to give people the benefit of the doubt but in the realm of business you often can't afford that luxury. It's just a shame these companies keep trying DRM instead of something that works. I think DRM would be less offensive if people couldn't see their computer literate buddy overcoming it while they paid full price and can't get their game working.  
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102. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 13, 2009, 08:53 StingingVelvet
 
If what you say is true, why are movies, music and games still selling? After all, anybody can download all three things with ease. Movies and music have virtually no copy-protection yet they continue to be very successful industries. Games are harder to pirate, yes, but not that much harder. If nobody wanted to pay for them, they would simply download them.

You're completely ignoring the quality factor. Yes, with music you're mostly paying because you choose to, but it's also heavily documented that this caused the music industry to crash and lose tons and tons of revenue. They mostly profit from concerts and licensing now, which are not things you can pirate away from them.

Movies on the other hand most people pay for quality. The average bootleg sucks, quality wise, and has no special features. With HDTVs taking over people want decent looking content... you might know where to get great quality HD bootlegs, but I doubt most people do, or have the time/patience to download them and find the right codec to run them.

Which brings on another fact, that people want easy to use products. You think people all know where to download free movies and games, but that's just not true. I have people on forums ask me on a daily basis how to submit a Steam support ticket, or how to search for a patch on google, or how to use fraps. All that is easy to figure out on your own, but people can't do it. The average IQ in America is like 92 I think... people aren't smart on average... most of them probably buy DVDs and games because it's damn easy to do so, go to the store and buy it, put the disc in, play it, and voila! Looking at rental disc bottoms some people even have a hard time with this.

The simple fact is that if you had a guy stand outside Gamestop handing out free copies of some new game, no charge no questions, very few people would walk past him to buy the game. People enjoy the benefits of capitalism but they don't think about the cause and effect relationship of the system, their role in it or anything else... they just want their shit. We're an incredibly selfish species.
 
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101. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 11, 2009, 20:21 Jerykk
 
You can view this as having no moral base, and that's you perogative, but I prefer to look at it as being rewarded for hard work with greater success and reward.

That's the problem. People don't pay for hard work. They pay for results. Movie tie-ins suck 99% of the time but it isn't for a lack of effort. The developers put in countless hours trying to pump those games out within the ridiculously short dev cycles and for every platform known to man. Does that mean we should all go out and buy every movie tie-in, regardless of quality? No, because that's not how capitalism works. Capitalism is all about results. I'm sure Iron Lore put a lot of effort into their games but people simply weren't all that interested in the results.

Any pirate would have a swift change of heart if they made something a ton of people used and enjoyed and got NO reward out of it.

Pirates do that all the time. They don't get paid to crack games yet they share their cracks with people around the world. What they do is illegal and they put themselves at great risk doing it, as authorities almost always go after the pirate groups instead of individual downloaders. If all pirates believed in capitalism, they'd charge a fee for their cracks. Granted, there are some pirates do sell pirated games but they aren't the ones who actually crack the games. They simply download them, burn them and try to reap the rewards. That is the capitalist way.

No one WANTS to buy anything, that's the problem. It's funny you have such a cynical view on capitalism but later on you seem to have this great optimistic view on humanity... make a good product and they will pay you for it. That's B.S..

If what you say is true, why are movies, music and games still selling? After all, anybody can download all three things with ease. Movies and music have virtually no copy-protection yet they continue to be very successful industries. Games are harder to pirate, yes, but not that much harder. If nobody wanted to pay for them, they would simply download them.

This idea that many on the Internet have of handing out your product and hoping people pay for it is ridiculous, and again if any of you were creators you would think much differently.

It's not ridiculous. Refer to the answer I provided above. It is exceedingly easy to pirate games, movies and music yet hordes of people continue to buy them. If you want to succeed in a capitalist society, your focus should be on getting more people to buy your stuff, not trying to get less people to steal it. Suits always assume that the two are directly correlated but as reality proves, this is not the case.
 
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100. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 11, 2009, 11:47 eRe4s3r
 
That just about sums everything up that is wrong with publishers and game developers, you are not selling only a product and then drop it.

You are selling a commitment to a game, with free patches and free (small) addons that you give to your PAYING customers and with good support you get people to buy stuff, if you make a game and then drop it, people are like nil inclined to pay money for it in the first place (see Hellgate london, or Titan Quest)

For examples on how to do good customer support take a look at Sacred 2, and what consequent patches added, heres a hint, a lot more than just bug-fixes, so even though Sacred 2 has horrid DRM i bought it, because the company doesn't handle you as customer like shit, they care, they listen, and they continue to ADD STUFF while working on an expansion simultaneously. Just like they did with Sacred 1 / Underworld...

I really do not understand why people seem to think making a game and then being done with it is a good idea, every successful game had usually long-term support, free additions or cheap-addons coming out monthly/quarterly (even if only for registered users). See, Diablo 2, Sims 2, Warcraft 3, X≥ , Sacred 1/2, Galciv 2, Sins of a Solar Empire etc.
 
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99. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 11, 2009, 11:10 StingingVelvet
 
There is no benefit to the consumer for these DRM methods. None. And you just can't see it.

I never said it did, don't put words in my mouth. It's funny how you can never have a decent debate with someone on DRM without them acting like you love DRM, you think it's awesome. I don't like DRM, especially limited activations and "games as a service" B.S. like Valve throws out there. I would go as far as to say I hate DRM. The difference between you and I is only that I higher priorities than my hatred for DRM, like playing awesome games and supporting awesome developers. If you can't get that simple difference through your head I don't know what to tell you.

The reason to do it is because the system itself does it. Capitalism is all about self-interest. Profit at all costs, even if it hurts others. There is no altruism in capitalism. The greater good is whatever makes you the most money. In the case of customers, it's all about saving money. Publishers like Atari have no problem using worthless DRM to burden customers so why should customers give them anything? If Atari wants to make money, they need to give customers a good reason to buy their games. Preventing theft != making money. In the case of DRM, theft isn't prevented, money isn't made and customers aren't happy.

That's a pretty cynical view, and I'm saying that as a person whose girlfriend constantly admonishes for being too cynical.

Capitalism's main strength is competition and wanting more money, yes. You can view this as having no moral base, and that's you perogative, but I prefer to look at it as being rewarded for hard work with greater success and reward. When people circumvent the system and take your work without giving you anything in return, it breaks the system and removes your incentive. Greater effects could be the closure of a developer, the loss of jobs and resources... it's pretty immoral in my opinion. I'm sure pirates rationalize it to themselves that all those people care about is money, and are thus evil, but that's just B.S. they use to feel better. We all care about money, and we all want our work to be rewarded. Even a nurse or firefighter wants their paycheck and would be damn upset not to get it.

Any pirate would have a swift change of heart if they made something a ton of people used and enjoyed and got NO reward out of it. It's like a college liberal who realizes he's a conservative once he starts making money.

You don't need to beg, you just need to make a product that people want to buy. That's how capitalism works. This isn't about charity. People stealing your stuff doesn't mean anything. People will steal anything if they can get away with it. However, if you make a quality product, a lot of people will feel compelled to buy it. DRM does not compel people to buy stuff.

No one WANTS to buy anything, that's the problem. It's funny you have such a cynical view on capitalism but later on you seem to have this great optimistic view on humanity... make a good product and they will pay you for it. That's B.S..

People don't WANT to pay me for anything. They want to play a game, they want to watch a movie, they want to be rich someday, but the last thing they want to do is reward or pay me for doing anything.

I can't trust people to pay me for what I make anymore than the grocery store could trust people to pay on their way out and have no staff in the store to watch them. This idea that many on the Internet have of handing out your product and hoping people pay for it is ridiculous, and again if any of you were creators you would think much differently.

This comment was edited on Apr 11, 2009, 11:12.
 
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98. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 11, 2009, 00:50 Jerykk
 
There is certainly a morality within capitalism, and the fact that some people go againt that is no reason to do it yourself.

The reason to do it is because the system itself does it. Capitalism is all about self-interest. Profit at all costs, even if it hurts others. There is no altruism in capitalism. The greater good is whatever makes you the most money. In the case of customers, it's all about saving money. Publishers like Atari have no problem using worthless DRM to burden customers so why should customers give them anything? If Atari wants to make money, they need to give customers a good reason to buy their games. Preventing theft != making money. In the case of DRM, theft isn't prevented, money isn't made and customers aren't happy.

You can uphold your own morality and refuse to pirate a game with ridiculous DRM but that choice really has nothing to do with capitalism.

I simply said for ME, personally, supporting the developers and the PC as a platform is more important than boycotting DRM I can get around anyway.

The PC as a platform does not benefit from DRM. The PC already has plenty of hurdles to overcome and DRM simply adds another one to the list. In the short term, yes, you are supporting the developer. However, you are also supporting the publisher who continues to use DRM. In order to grow, the PC platform needs to remove obstacles to mainstream acceptance.

All I ever said about Iron Lore was that piracy hurt their sales on some level, that level probably able to be debated, but more importantly it probably impacted their closing up shop on a psychological level.

I don't think their psychological level really mattered at that point. They didn't have enough money to keep going and they couldn't sign any projects with publishers. Even if Titan Quest wasn't pirated at all, this wouldn't have changed.

Begging them to please pay for my product is asinine and shouldn't need to be done.

You don't need to beg, you just need to make a product that people want to buy. That's how capitalism works. This isn't about charity. People stealing your stuff doesn't mean anything. People will steal anything if they can get away with it. However, if you make a quality product, a lot of people will feel compelled to buy it. DRM does not compel people to buy stuff.
 
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97. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 10, 2009, 21:51 Tumbler
 
The only thing I can do on this score is point you toward Oliver Stone's Wall Street. There is certainly a morality within capitalism, and the fact that some people go againt that is no reason to do it yourself.

I think you need to watch that movie again because you missed a lot apparently. If that movied showed anything it's that capitalism has no morality, that quality comes from outside that system.

And in this movie you're Bud Fox. You're the guy trying to work with Gecko like he's going to help people in the end. And all the while you go against your family, the consumers, telling you you're being used by them.

There is no benefit to the consumer for these DRM methods. None. And you just can't see it.
 
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96. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 10, 2009, 17:17 StingingVelvet
 
I agree that capitalism is the most effective economic system thus far. However, morality isn't part of the equation. The goal in capitalism is to make as much money as possible and that usually entails a distinct lack of morality, as evident by Atari's use of DRM.

The only thing I can do on this score is point you toward Oliver Stone's Wall Street. There is certainly a morality within capitalism, and the fact that some people go againt that is no reason to do it yourself.

I've downloaded games to try them out and I've downloaded games no one sells anywhere anymore, but the one thing I will not do is download a game I enjoy, play it and have a good time, and give the developer nothing for their effort. It's just wrong on a basic and fundemental level, but it doesn't surprise me some people can't see that... I see people like that everyday. They're especially grating when they make fun of me for paying for music/games/movies/pornography.

A fundamental aspect of capitalism is giving people a reason to give you money. DRM doesn't do this and instead gives a people a reason not to give you money.

Then don't buy the game, but also don't download the game. I don't have any problem with that. I simply said for ME, personally, supporting the developers and the PC as a platform is more important than boycotting DRM I can get around anyway. If boycotting DRM is more important to you then fine, do that. All I am asking is you don't download the game either.

Deserve? This isn't a matter of what deserves to happen. From what I've read, Titan Quest is a solid Diablo-clone that fans of Diablo would probably enjoy. However, what deserves to happen is rarely what actually happens. PC's deserve to the lead platform for gaming but they aren't. Space sims and adventure games deserve attention from American publishers but that doesn't happen. PC games deserve the same amount of marketing as console games but that doesn't happen. Did Iron Lore deserve better? Sure. But in capitalism, it isn't about what you deserve, it's about what you get and Iron Lore didn't get enough consumers interested in their games.

I don't know what this is supposed to mean in regards to our debate... I completely agree with what you said here. All I ever said about Iron Lore was that piracy hurt their sales on some level, that level probably able to be debated, but more importantly it probably impacted their closing up shop on a psychological level.

Being in business is about offering a service people WANT to pay for, not a service that people should pay for and don't. If people aren't paying you for your services you need to offer better services. You can try and offer the same services with more restrictions but it doesn't seem wise to expect people to suddenly want to pay for your services when you make them more restricted...

The problem is that no matter how great your product or service, millions of asshats are going to steal it anyway. I'm 29 years old and I don't know anyone in my age bracket who buys their music other than one guy in college who collected LPs. My girlfriend is only 22 and none of her friends buy anything, music, movies of games. It has nothing to do with the quality of the service, no matter what people say... sure, they come up with lovely excuses like "music is overpriced," which is insane, "movies suck now-a-days," so then why are you watching them, and "dumbed down for consoles!"

People are just ignorant of how the world works and want their shit for free. Begging them to please pay for my product is asinine and shouldn't need to be done. I see people talk about how Blizzard and Valve are the only companies they don't pirate the games of because they "get" PC gamers and I think "really? I need to win a personality contest now to win the privledge of getting paid for the work I did that you enjoyed the results of?" Fuck that.

This comment was edited on Apr 10, 2009, 17:20.
 
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95. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 10, 2009, 15:49 Jerykk
 
For all the bitching I see about capitalism on the Internet from pirates and college girls, I have yet to see someone offer a better alternative. History has shown time and time again the alternatives don't work, so this is what we have.

I agree that capitalism is the most effective economic system thus far. However, morality isn't part of the equation. The goal in capitalism is to make as much money as possible and that usually entails a distinct lack of morality, as evident by Atari's use of DRM.

A fundemental aspect of capitalism is you support those who make a good product or service you want to see continue...

A fundamental aspect of capitalism is giving people a reason to give you money. DRM doesn't do this and instead gives a people a reason not to give you money.

So are all FPS games released since Wolfenstein clones that deserve no money?

Deserve? This isn't a matter of what deserves to happen. From what I've read, Titan Quest is a solid Diablo-clone that fans of Diablo would probably enjoy. However, what deserves to happen is rarely what actually happens. PC's deserve to the lead platform for gaming but they aren't. Space sims and adventure games deserve attention from American publishers but that doesn't happen. PC games deserve the same amount of marketing as console games but that doesn't happen. Did Iron Lore deserve better? Sure. But in capitalism, it isn't about what you deserve, it's about what you get and Iron Lore didn't get enough consumers interested in their games.
 
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94. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 10, 2009, 14:25 Tumbler
 
I'm sure it breaks the heart... if even 1/10th of those people bought the game it could have made a difference, and whether you believe that or not you can't deny the emotional power of having a failure game ruin your company and seeing tons of people stealing the game online. I'm sure if you created something and had that happen you would equally burned.

People have got to want to buy the game. There needs to be a reason to spend the money. This is something that devs/pubs seem to ignore all too often. I think the amount of WoW like games that come out on the MMO market and fail miserably while supposedly suffering zero piracy is interesting to say the least. Just because you make a game that does everything right on paper, people just may not want to pay for it.

Being in business is about offering a service people WANT to pay for, not a service that people should pay for and don't. If people aren't paying you for your services you need to offer better services. You can try and offer the same services with more restrictions but it doesn't seem wise to expect people to suddenly want to pay for your services when you make them more restricted...

I think I will write a letter regarding this as someone mentioned earlir. For this game in particular I think they are overcharging for this game, especially on the PC, and the DRM limitations are a slap in the face to anyone who spends $50 on this software.
 
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93. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 10, 2009, 14:18 StingingVelvet
 
It's a matter of principle. Why should customers be forced to illegally crack the game they paid for? Why should customers be burdened with activations and install limits when pirates aren't? Imagine if your car required you to hotwire it whenever you wanted to drive anywhere. Imagine if the doors to your house wouldn't open unless you went out and got an illegally-produced key? Essentially requiring customers to go through hoops to play their games is stupid.

I agree, games should just work out of the box with no hassles... that's why consoles are in the majority, because they just work. In a perfect world PC games would be like this in all aspects, not just in regards to DRM. My only point is that a PC gamer is used to fiddling with games to get them to work right... messing with drivers, messing with Dosbox, messing with admin modes, messing with no-cd cracks, whatever. For them, bypassing Riddick's DRM is a pretty simple process, especially since you won't even have to do it for years. Again, I agree with what you're saying, I just have higher priorities because I can still play these games no matter what, in essence.

Wait, did you just put "morals" and "capitalist system" in the same sentence? They couldn't be greater opposites. Atari obviously has no morals if they're willing to burden their customers for a fruitless cause.

For all the bitching I see about capitalism on the Internet from pirates and college girls, I have yet to see someone offer a better alternative. History has shown time and time again the alternatives don't work, so this is what we have. A fundemental aspect of capitalism is you support those who make a good product or service you want to see continue... I want to see Starbreeze Studios continue, even if they screwed me over by not releasing The Darkness on PC.

Except where do you draw the line? If you buy a game with DRM, you are endorsing DRM and convincing publishers to keep using it. While developers deserve to be rewarded for making good games, they also need to avoid dealing with crappy publishers. Buying games with DRM changes nothing. Customers should not have to bear the whole burden of a publisher's idiocy.

I'll draw the line when an anti-piracy measure is so bad the protest of it outweighs supporting good games in my scale of importance. Steam almost does that, but not quite. Add one more restriction to Steam and it would probably tip me over the line.

ALL games are pirated to hell and back. Iron Lore shut down because they created a Diablo-clone that most people simply weren't interested in buying. To blame their failure on piracy is all too convenient. It's like blaming the poor sales of Psychonauts, BG&E, Sacrifice, etc, on piracy. Those games didn't sell poorly because of piracy, they sold poorly because they didn't appeal to the masses, much like Titan Quest.

So are all FPS games released since Wolfenstein clones that deserve no money? There are actually remarkably few Diablo-style games on the market, considering that game's popularity. It wasn't even released anywhere near Diablo 2 as far as time, but years afterward. I don't think you're out of line suggesting it wasn't a game that would set the world on fire, but I do think it deserved more success than it got considering there are obviously millions who like the genre and it had been years since a quality release in that genre.

That said, my point was more that these devs have to face that their game didn't sell well and they will be closing their doors, and then they can boot up a torrent site and see an endless list of people downloading their game. I'm sure it breaks the heart... if even 1/10th of those people bought the game it could have made a difference, and whether you believe that or not you can't deny the emotional power of having a failure game ruin your company and seeing tons of people stealing the game online. I'm sure if you created something and had that happen you would feel equally burned.

This comment was edited on Apr 10, 2009, 14:21.
 
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92. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 10, 2009, 13:07 Tumbler
 
a great bunch of guys with a great game (Titan Quest) that sold like crap but was torrented to hell and back.

This thing was a clear copy of Diablo. How can you say this game failed because of piracy? It failed because it took an old idea and tried to resell it and people didn't want to pay for it.

I picked it up on impulse for $4 because that's about what it's worth to me. If you want top down role playing/action go buy the diablo battlechest, or just bust out your copy that you probably already own. It's absurd to suggest that piracy was why this game didn't sell. It didn't sell because it was a copy of a bigger better product.

Sort of like BF Heroes would be to Team Fortress 2. If EA tried to sell that, even if it was a great game, it'd probably end up selling like shit because people already have a completely superior product and it's been on sale so many times it's probably been sold to 99% of the target market.

3 - Buy the game - I still choose to do this, as being a developer is much harder and thankless than any of you seem to grasp, and they NEED the success and money from game sales to survive. Instead of punishing them for something their publisher did, I support them with a sale and then crack the .exe when I need to... in essence, it is more important to me to support developers making great games I like than it is to complain about DRM I can easily bypass.

And this just makes my head spin. Maybe as a developer you just go along with everything publishers shovel into your mouth but as a consumer we don't distinguish between publishers and developers. It's all one product. If you and the publisher together end up with a shitty product for whatever reason, it's too fucking bad. I think developers have a warped view of reality when they expect gamers to buy games with this kind of stuff attached "for the developers". As if publishers are the ones you need to keep happy. EARTH TO DEVS, it's consumers you need to keep happy.
 
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91. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 10, 2009, 12:24 Jerykk
 
Finding ways to run old games on PC isn't even anything new, so I don't see why it's so horrible to do it for this title.

It's a matter of principle. Why should customers be forced to illegally crack the game they paid for? Why should customers be burdened with activations and install limits when pirates aren't? Imagine if your car required you to hotwire it whenever you wanted to drive anywhere. Imagine if the doors to your house wouldn't open unless you went out and got an illegally-produced key? Essentially requiring customers to go through hoops to play their games is stupid.

They continue to lament the piracy problem on PC and you look like a rationalizing thief to anyone with half a brain and any respect for morals in a capitalist system.

Wait, did you just put "morals" and "capitalist system" in the same sentence? They couldn't be greater opposites. Atari obviously has no morals if they're willing to burden their customers for a fruitless cause.

3 - Buy the game - I still choose to do this, as being a developer is much harder and thankless than any of you seem to grasp, and they NEED the success and money from game sales to survive. Instead of punishing them for something their publisher did, I support them with a sale and then crack the .exe when I need to... in essence, it is more important to me to support developers making great games I like than it is to complain about DRM I can easily bypass.

Except where do you draw the line? If you buy a game with DRM, you are endorsing DRM and convincing publishers to keep using it. While developers deserve to be rewarded for making good games, they also need to avoid dealing with crappy publishers. Buying games with DRM changes nothing. Customers should not have to bear the whole burden of a publisher's idiocy.

I don't like activation limits but I like seeing PC releases dwindle and great developers being shut down even less. Iron Lore is a great example... a great bunch of guys with a great game (Titan Quest) that sold like crap but was torrented to hell and back. They didn't do anything to bring that on themselves either, the game was not saddled with horrid DRM, but people pirated it anyway.

ALL games are pirated to hell and back. Iron Lore shut down because they created a Diablo-clone that most people simply weren't interested in buying. To blame their failure on piracy is all too convenient. It's like blaming the poor sales of Psychonauts, BG&E, Sacrifice, etc, on piracy. Those games didn't sell poorly because of piracy, they sold poorly because they didn't appeal to the masses, much like Titan Quest.

This comment was edited on Apr 10, 2009, 12:30.
 
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