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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 5.
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30. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 14:28 vrok
 
Naturally you can always buy it and just use the crack though.
Sorry, but that only sends the message that you're fine with the DRM. These companies understand only one thing, money. If you give it to them that means you approve. Especially if you don't pester them constantly about getting new activations.

This comment was edited on Apr 9, 2009, 14:30.
 
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29. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 14:26 GT
 
There is no justification for piracy ever. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Naturally you can always buy it and just use the crack though.
If there were no piracy, there would be no crack because virtually all of the publicly available cracks come from the pirates. So if you are using a crack, you are participating in piracy whether you are too naive to realize it or not.

This comment was edited on Apr 9, 2009, 14:28.
 
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28. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 14:21 Cutter
 
I'll wait for the 360 game to go down to 25 bucks whenever that happens. I can wait.

Or you can rent it from Cockbuster for ten bucks for a week, which is way more than enough time to finish the game.
 
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James Woods: Oh that's fun. That sounds like you had a fun time. Where would I fit in with the fun time, huh? Where does James Woods fit into the fun?
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27. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 14:20 GT
 
Sure it's broken and stupid but committing more piracy isn't sending the right message.
Yes, it is because hopefully it will put those Atari assholes out of business, and the next Starbreeze game will be published by some other company which won't infest it with this type of DRM.

This comment was edited on Apr 9, 2009, 14:27.
 
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26. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 14:10 theyarecomingforyou
 
It doesn't make sense to use limited activations, at least not to prevent early piracy. Traditional activation can stop particular serials being widely activated (multiple countries, large numbers per day, etc) and the game is only going to be cracked within days or weeks anyway, after which it serves no purpose. No, it's purely designed to stop reselling and to prevent lending of games to friends and family (afterall, you're not going to lend a game if you risk losing access to it yourself). As such, Atari can fuck right off.

Hopefully, it will be on Steam... who said it wouldn't be anyways?!
No-one said it wouldn't, though it hasn't been announced and... you know... the game's already been released. Even then Atari limit their Steam games to North America. It's pathetic really, especially when it's available on Direct2Drive. Surely it's a bit pointless developing decent games if you then set out to piss off the people willing to buy them with shit like this? I wish companies like this would go out of business and I'm happy to do my part to help.
 
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25. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 13:47 Aero
 
I understand it took several days after release until it was cracked which is pretty good for a protection really. I would consider that a good system if they were to patch it to a typical DVD check or even no DRM a few weeks after release. That way everyone who is pissed about the activations can just wait until then. Clearly the chances of that are pretty much zero. In the future if they're going to use activation, I would like them go down that route though.

Not automatically returning an activation when you uninstall it is pretty shady business. If they're going to use online activation, I'd like the Live for Speed method, a game that has been using online activation for years. You are only allowed to have three activations, including the one in use, at any one time but every Friday they add one more activation to your account so that if you've used one of your extras to reinstall, it will be replaced at the end of the week. It's a good system so far as those things go. It's easier to justify with LFS though because it is pretty much an online only game.

I have to say though, all of this stuff makes me long for a good old fashioned CD check. Annoying as it was, it pales in comparison to the complications of online activation.

There is no justification for piracy ever. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Naturally you can always buy it and just use the crack though. This is what I do for all of my older games where it's a pain in the ass to go digging around for the disk.

One more thing, and I don't know whether this is the case, but if there is online activation there damn well better not be a DVD check too like with Far Cry 2. At the very least they should give us some benefit from their wacky drm.

Steam would be fine with me.

edit:

I was thinking about it, and I bet the fact that there is no demo is somehow tied to the DRM. By providing an executable that is largely the same as the retail executable, that would probably make cracking it that much easier because the crackers could compare the two. Perhaps not (maybe the demo would need to be activated too), but if that's so, it's another reason to be irked by the DRM.

This comment was edited on Apr 9, 2009, 13:57.
 
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24. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 13:44 Acleacius
 
No Sale.  
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy.All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.
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23. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 13:39 killer_roach
 
Sounds like people were testing the limits of the DRM early on, and got burned.

Here's a tip, Atari: If your justification is legitimate, tell your users the conditions on the freaking box, and let God (or, at least, the market) sort the sales out. Is that not too much to ask? Now all you've managed to do, rather than cut down on piracy, is to piss off some people curious as to what your system was doing because you weren't willing to tell them straight away.

Morons.
 
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22. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 13:27 space captain
 
But hey, you go girl with your piracy self-justification!

it would be way more interesting to watch you attempt to justify your pathetic existence itself
 
Go forth, and kill!
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21. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 13:25 Surf
 
Yup, I have it (Thanks Bit Torrent) but I did buy the original game. Just waiting for a no DVD hack which will be out soon. And will wait for the price to be more reasonable, $30-35.

 
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20. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 13:08 dryden555
 

I'll wait for the 360 game to go down to 25 bucks whenever that happens. I can wait.
 
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19. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:55 StingingVelvet
 
Man, I hate install limits. It doesn't even tell you there's a limit when you activate it... I own the game.

That said, it's not so terrible I wouldn't buy the game. I got Riddick and it's awesome, as was Mirror's Edge and all the other EA SecuROM titles I got.

I have heard it is easy to request another activation limit, but I have never had to do it, which says something in itself. A person who needs more in a short amount of time is probably VERY rare. Also, the way I look at it is that if I want to play the game years from now and have a problem doing so, I can just download a crack at that point, when I'm sure it will be common.

Don't get me wrong, I hate install limits, but using this as a reason to pirate the game is bullshit rationalizing, and using it as a reason not to buy the game seems way overboard. That's just me though...
 
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18. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:51 Lorcin
 
We implement this protection in an effort to avoid early piracy

lol well they succeded there: kinda - it seems it didn't get cracked early. Of course it did get done the next day (yesterday) BEFORE Atari said it was DRMed to avoid early piracy.

As normal the DRM is just stupid - it's stopping people buying the PC version and the actual only early release of the game seems to have been on the 360 anyway. A quick check seems to show 3 times the amount of downloads on the 360 vs PC as well, I guess the only way the developers will be happy is if everything only comes out for the uncrackable PS3. Oh. Wait.....
 
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17. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:50 Verno
 
Ah, screw it, I'll just pirate it. My time's more valuable than that

Hahaha, way to teach them a lesson man. You realize it's their flawed attempt to fight piracy right? Sure it's broken and stupid but committing more piracy isn't sending the right message. But hey, you go girl with your piracy self-justification!
 
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16. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:48 Darks
 
It never fails to amaze me just how stupid a company can be. Stopping piracy with this type of non revocable is absurd and will accomplish nothing on the part of preventing piracy. But what it will do it prevent people from buying this game as it has with me. I was all set to buy this game. Iím so glad sites like Blues News and voodoo extreme exist to inform the public of this kind of nonsense. Atari of all companies that has financial issues coming out the ass canít afford this type of hate or non support for a great game that just got trashed by their own doing.

Sorry Atari, keep your drm infested game No Sale here! I just spent my money of the new COH Valor.
 
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15. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:35 Undocumented Alien
 
Seems that Game Publishers are becoming just like the US government, that being that they don't listen to the public anymore.  
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14. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:29 GT
 
But if you can install it on three different machines as many times as you like, than that's completely acceptable!
It's not really three PC's unless you never change the hardware on any of them. It's three hardware configurations/hardware signatures. That means if you change any hardware on the PC (boot drive, video card, CPU, etc.), you change the hardware signature. So, you can only activate the game on three hardware signatures (be it one PC with hardware changed three times or three PC's with hardware never changed) until you have to call Atari and beg for another activation.

Changing GPU and CPU could also invalidate a license, not sure though..
Yes, they do especially for the CPU because those have serial numbers.

This comment was edited on Apr 9, 2009, 12:35.
 
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13. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:25 DDI
 
The hardware change with limited activations is the worst kind of this crap. Think about it, you install the game, upgrade your video card and upgrade to say Windows 7. Oh look you are out of activations.

Heh eRe4s3r beat me to the punch.

This comment was edited on Apr 9, 2009, 12:27.
 
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12. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:24 eRe4s3r
 
reinstalling windows is a 100% sure way to kill all your activations very quickly, do a format without a revoke tool used before reformat and your activation is *gone*, courtesy of Securoms great anti-customer protection system

Even dual boot (win xp , vista) will use 2 activations, try the game on W7 beta and your 3 activations are already used up on a single machine

Changing GPU and CPU could also invalidate a license, not sure though..

Also, preventing early piracy is complete bollox, pirates have infinite patience because they would not buy the game even if a cracked version takes 4 days or 10 weeks longer, pirates know fully well that EVERY game is going to be cracked at some point, and waiting is cheaper than buying, i mean sure look at how well preventing early piracy worked for Bioshock/Spore ;p

I detest that companies like Atari create the perfect environment to increase piracy even more, and every paying customer getting gang-raped in the process by 3 install non-revokable DRM... *sigh*

Only pirates have a working product, customers get a broken-by-design product.. AWESOME ;(
 
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11. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:23 DI-MeisterM
 
First no PC demo version and now this DRM? More and more developers spent their time in merging DRM technologies these days than doing a proper PC version or demo.  
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110 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 5.
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