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On Riddick DRM

The Atari Forums have an "explanation" of the DRM in The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, focusing on why DRM is used and their three activation limit that is the focus of many objections (thanks Voodoo Extreme). The post points out that people do actually attempt to pirate games (they say one activation key has been tried over 50,000 times), but they feel their limits suit most users, in "only about 10% of all the Riddick PC games sold have been activated more than once." The post conclude with these reassurances:

DRM is not designed to keep you from playing the game, nor is it designed to combat any after market sales. After market sales for PC games are nowhere near what they are for console games anyway, aside from ebay, craigslist and yard sales I canít even really think of anywhere to get used PC games.

I want to make it clear that there are people who are monitoring activations so if and when we get into an issue with people not being able to play that issue will be addressed. Should the case get so severe it effects a large portion of the gamers, more activations will be set in place as needed. Further down the line the DRM will be removed and a new unprotected exe will be released.

So to summarize if you buy Riddick legally on the PC we are going to do our best to make sure you can play it for as long as you want. I hope this helps answer some of your questions / concerns.

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90 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 1.
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90. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 17, 2009, 20:00 GT
 
You yourself have said discs are likely to be scratched, damaged, corrode or break, which entirely supports the point I was making.
No, it doesn't support your point because where you and I differ is on the solution to that problem. The solution for me is to place my trust in myself and make my own backup by taking advantage of the cheap and voluminous storage available today. Your solution to the problem is to rely on an Internet connection and some company (a foreign one at that) to not only provide you with a backup of your games but also keep the switch to your games on.

So you can continue to make backups of every game you make - I don't need to.
Until the cloud or the company behind it fails you. Then you'll wish you had a backup which doesn't rely on the cloud or the company behind it to work.

Not only that but many of the copy protection schemes don't allow you to make a working backup
I agree which is why I advocate a return to the DRM-free days of the past. Disc-based DRM is only superior to the Internet-reliant DRM in the sense that it can be transferred to another person and doesn't require an Internet connection or a company's continued blessing to function. It's still vastly inferior to what was used in the X-Wing Alliance game you mentioned.

I don't have to worry about finding patches, applying them in the right order or inputting CD-keys.
Many retail games also have automatic update functionality as well. That's not an exclusive feature of game services like Steam.

I use Steam because it's immensely more convenient than retail gaming.
Convenience has a price, and that price in this case is the loss of control. Like other services which exist in the cloud or like DRM for that matter, Steam is fine so long as it works. The problem is that history has shown that it doesn't always work for everyone all of the time, and you have essentially no recourse when it no longer works for you for any of the many reasons that might happen. For me that price is too high especially when games on Steam and other digital distributors aren't significantly less expensive at best than those sold on physical media.

This comment was edited on Apr 17, 2009, 22:35.
 
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89. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 17, 2009, 19:45 GT
 
Now just about anymore can look for a cracked version with little-to-no skill.
I don't dispute that, but the market of potential PC game consumers is so much larger than back in those days. Therefore, the PC game market can absorb the supposed loss of sales from piracy.

Piracy is the result of a pricing problem. It could be solved if publishers and developers would have the courage to try new approaches and price points. In contrast the relatively long history DRM has already proven itself to be ineffective in significantly reducing piracy and in boosting sales.
 
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88. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 17, 2009, 19:36 GT
 
The music industry mostly makes its money from licensing and concerts.
That's true of artists, but not of the music industry as a whole.

The idea that CDs are DRM-free because they're successful that way is a foolish one.
No, it isn't because history has proven otherwise. Attempts to add DRM to music especially to CD's have severely backfired with consumers.

People steal music all the time, constantly. I don't know anyone my age that pays for music other than me.
And, yet commercial music sales continue to be profitable despite that.

PC games is all about sales, and sales early on when the game costs more, I imagine. That's what feeds the industry.
That is a failure of the PC game industry's sales and marketing model, and it's one which DRM can't and won't fix.

Sending the game out DRM-free on day one is something the studios will never like doing and probably will never be common again.
That will only be true if consumers don't demand it.

Despite what anti-DRM people will have you believe, SecuROM and Steam and similar systems DO help stop early piracy.
In most cases that has been false, but even if it were true, so what? There is no proven correlation between the lack of early piracy and sales from what I have seen. I had a conversation four years ago with a few of the principals of Macrovision (the company which developes and markets Safedisc) at a trade show, and at the time they were trumpeting their "success" against early piracy since one of the games which used a new release of their product at the time hadn't been cracked for six months or so. When I finally pried the name of this uncracked game out of them, you know what it turned out to be? True Crime: Streets of LA. That game was a sales failure on the PC, and the only reason it wasn't cracked sooner is because the pirates didn't care for the game enough to bother with it. So, while having the game be uncracked may have given Macrovision something to brag about to gullible publishers, it certainly didn't do anything significant to help sales of the game.

a disc check is too far the other way.
Bullshit. A disc check worked sufficiently in the past and is still used on many budget titles. It could work for mainstream titles as well, and Ubisoft is one publisher who seems to be returning to it.

Personally I see online activation with a key, but no limit, as a happy medium.
It's not a happy medium because it continually puts the consumer at the mercy of a game company to play a game even when the game itself doesn't utilize the Internet. For the consumer that's no middle ground. It's the equivalent difference between getting a lethal injection and getting hung.

The 3 PC gamers in the world without any access to Internet at all are not going to change my mind.
If you are so narrow minded that you think that only 3 or a relative equivalent of PC gamers ever want to play a game when or where they are without Internet access, you don't have much of a mind worth changing.

This comment was edited on Apr 19, 2009, 13:43.
 
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87. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 17, 2009, 14:56 Creston
 
...you know what Atari? Go Fuck Yourself.

When I piss on you it's not intended to cover you in urine and make you stink, turn your clothes yellow and in general make you look and smell like a homeless person. It's to keep dogs away from you. So see I'm just trying to do you a favor. Once you have a "scent" on you dogs will know to stay away so it's really for your own good.


*Applauds*

That is just fucking CLASSIC. I think I'm going to email that to Atari. Bravo, good sir.

Creston
 
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86. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 17, 2009, 08:31 kanniballl
 
Years ago PC games had no DRM, and even today a relative few still are released without it. There is no valid reason for DRM in PC games. Anyone who knows how to use Google can get around it or simply do without. DRM is still being used simply out of paranoia and stupidity.

Well, it depends on how you look at it. I'm not for DRM but there's a reason it wasn't always needed.

YEARS ago the lack of DRM was simple: SneakerNet was inefficient. Sure there were Computer Shows, clubs, etc but stuff spreading around wasn't really a problem.

Then BBS, FTP, IRC, etc made things easier but Joe Sixpack wasn't a heavy user. At this point Joe Sixpack *might* have a Prodigy or Compuserve account but didn't know what to do with it.

At that point companies tried things to combat it: LucasArts requiring you lookup a word in the manual, and 1 piece of software wouldn't let me use copied 3.5 floppies even though the copy succeeded (I don't know what that was about).

Now just about anymore can look for a cracked version with little-to-no skill. And the person the companies fear most, Joe Sixpack, can get whatever he wants.

This comment was edited on Apr 17, 2009, 08:34.
 
"Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you."
-Fry, Futurama
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85. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 17, 2009, 08:27 theyarecomingforyou
 
Get broken, scratched, corroded, or simply get lost. Any of these could happen which is why you should have made a working backup disc to play from and kept the original one stored.
No, because I look after my discs with great care.

That is why I pointed out that you should have backed up your game's discs instead of letting the original one get ruined and then criticizing physical distribution of games for it when you could have easily done something yourself to prevent it in the first place.
Digital distribution eliminates the possibility of the game disc breaking and the inability to then play the game as a result. You yourself have said discs are likely to be scratched, damaged, corrode or break, which entirely supports the point I was making. So you can continue to make backups of every game you make - I don't need to. Not only that but many of the copy protection schemes don't allow you to make a working backup - that means you then need to apply a crack, which is the same thing I could do if a game on Steam were to stop working.

I use Steam because it's immensely more convenient than retail gaming. I can have all my games up and running within minutes of a clean Windows install. I don't have to worry about finding patches, applying them in the right order or inputting CD-keys. I don't have to worry about backing up discs or juggling them in and out of the drive. Steam saves me a huge amount of time and effort. I play games for enjoyment, not all that other crap.
 
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84. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 17, 2009, 01:11 StingingVelvet
 
Just a note that most of those games you just listed came to consoles first, not the PC. We get them ported and sometimes we get extra features but they usually end up with them first on XBLA since it's such a goldmine and we often have to wait months for them. It's the entire reason I own a console personally, sometimes it's not worth waiting if you're just going to get a port anyways so I grab the console version.

Most? How about one out of three? Braid was on Xbox Live first, but World of Goo was never on Xbox Live, it came to WiiWare the same exact day as PC, and Crayon Physics is currently a PC exclusive.

And Braid has a level editor, which makes the PC version vastly superior and worth waiting for.
 
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83. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 17, 2009, 01:06 StingingVelvet
 
Bullshit! If music can have no DRM, so can games. If consumers hadn't sought that solution from the record labels, they would never have gotten it. Years ago PC games had no DRM, and even today a relative few still are released without it. There is no valid reason for DRM in PC games. Anyone who knows how to use Google can get around it or simply do without. DRM is still being used simply out of paranoia and stupidity.

The music industry mostly makes its money from licensing and concerts. The idea that CDs are DRM-free because they're successful that way is a foolish one. People steal music all the time, constantly. I don't know anyone my age that pays for music other than me.

Movies are similar to console games... the theft is there, common even, but they sell so many units it's hard to notice and becomes a secondary issue. Movie companies also have theatre revenue to count on.

PC games is all about sales, and sales early on when the game costs more, I imagine. That's what feeds the industry. Sending the game out DRM-free on day one is something the studios will never like doing and probably will never be common again. Despite what anti-DRM people will have you believe, SecuROM and Steam and similar systems DO help stop early piracy. They will never stop piracy period, but they do help stop early piracy and casual piracy.

The trick is to find a happy medium where the companies feel their product is as protected as it reasonably can be, and the consumer does not feel violated or inconvienenced. Install limits are too far one way, a disc check is too far the other way. Personally I see online activation with a key, but no limit, as a happy medium.

The 3 PC gamers in the world without any access to Internet at all are not going to change my mind.
 
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82. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 17, 2009, 00:21 Dades
 
In fact, with things like World of Goo, Crayon Physics, Braid etc, the PC seems to have taken the forefront in innovation again. And yes, I know some of those are multi platform.)

Just a note that most of those games you just listed came to consoles first, not the PC. We get them ported and sometimes we get extra features but they usually end up with them first on XBLA since it's such a goldmine and we often have to wait months for them. It's the entire reason I own a console personally, sometimes it's not worth waiting if you're just going to get a port anyways so I grab the console version.
 
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81. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 16, 2009, 23:14 GT
 
it's just common sense that an amazingly small section of gamers, pc gamers with no Internet at all, is not really a factor in marketing and production decisions.
It's just common sense that if you pay for a game, you should either be able to use it or be allowed to return it for a refund. If those without Internet can't play a game, they shouldn't be able to buy it in the first place or they should be given refunds if they have. Right now they can't, and your excusing it as too insignificant is unjustifiable.

You can't expect to shun extremely common technology and still be catered to.
Actually you can and should expect it for games which don't require that technology. Putting a lock on a product which requires the Internet to unlock it isn't acceptable when using the product itself doesn't require the Internet.

Activate a game with a key without any limit...Basically Steam without the Steam.
Except with Steam you only get one activation and then it's tied to a single account and can't be activated ever again. At least with SecuROM's activation you can pass a key along to someone else so they can use it when you are finished with the game (if there are no activation limits or if the previous activations have been revoked). So, what you described is basically SecuROM right now. However, I don't think any DRM which mandates Internet activation is acceptable especially for a game which itself doesn't require Internet access.

This fantasy we should have no DRM at all is NEVER going to fly, and people need to stop seeking that solution.
Bullshit! If music can have no DRM, so can games. If consumers hadn't sought that solution from the record labels, they would never have gotten it. Years ago PC games had no DRM, and even today a relative few still are released without it. There is no valid reason for DRM in PC games. Anyone who knows how to use Google can get around it or simply do without. DRM is still being used simply out of paranoia and stupidity.

This comment was edited on Apr 16, 2009, 23:21.
 
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80. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 16, 2009, 22:48 StingingVelvet
 
That's right. Fuck those people even if they did pay $50 for the game and now can't return it. Fuck them for being so stupid as to buy a PC game and expect just to put in the disc and play it.

I never said I didn't sympathize, it's just common sense that an amazingly small section of gamers, pc gamers with no Internet at all, is not really a factor in marketing and production decisions. I'm sure there is a group of people wishing traffic infractions resulted in a wanted level in GTA games for realism's sake, but that group of people is so small no one cares.

You can't expect to shun extremely common technology and still be catered to.

Online activation could be a lot better than it is now and solve a lot of DRM problems. Activate a game with a key without any limit... if one key is used much more than it makes sense for it to be, lock that key out until the owner can prove he is a legitimate user. Basically Steam without the Steam.

This fantasy we should have no DRM at all is NEVER going to fly, and people need to stop seeking that solution.

This comment was edited on Apr 16, 2009, 22:50.
 
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79. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 16, 2009, 22:10 GT
 
To break? Nope.
Get broken, scratched, corroded, or simply get lost. Any of these could happen which is why you should have made a working backup disc to play from and kept the original one stored.

That's like saying I should be prepared for lightning to strike me every time I step out of the house
No, it isn't. It is far more likely that a game disc will fail or get lost and need to be backed up especially one which is played frequently than you'll get struck by lightning. That is why I pointed out that you should have backed up your game's discs instead of letting the original one get ruined and then criticizing physical distribution of games for it when you could have easily done something yourself to prevent it in the first place.

I don't get why you're being such a prick about it.
My intention wasn't to be a prick. It was just to point out the error of your judgement and perspective. Making backup copies of the game CD-ROM's you play a lot is inexpensive and easy to do at least for games without DRM. It also keeps you in control of whether you can play your games or not. However, instead of doing that, you would rather put control of your games in the cloud using a service like Steam and depend on its reliability instead of your own (which is only a better choice if you are unreliable). I would rather have DRM-free games stored on my own physical media like we had ten years ago (especially given how inexpensive and large portable storage is today) than have to put my head and faith in some company's cloud and linked DRM scheme.

I wouldn't know as I've never used it.
Which is exactly why you shouldn't have tried to dispute what I wrote.

This comment was edited on Apr 16, 2009, 22:41.
 
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78. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 16, 2009, 20:47 theyarecomingforyou
 
You didn't expect a thin piece of plastic with an aluminum film inside to ever break or scratch especially when it's repeatedly spun at high speed?
To break? Nope. I don't get why you're being such a prick about it. That's like saying I should be prepared for lightning to strike me every time I step out of the house - sure it's possible but it's incredibly unlikely. I've only ever had a disc break the once and I have no idea whether it was a manufacturing flaw or not.

No you can't. All that setting does is pause the download. The game still won't launch using it because the game won't be "100% ready" until the update is downloaded and applied. Games are checked for updates when Steam is launched and when the game is launched, so Steam won't run a game if it has an available update regardless of that setting.
I wouldn't know as I've never used it. But I agree, it doesn't give the user any choice. Why should an update be forced upon a gamer that doesn't want it? I can understand enforcing consistency for a multiplayer game but even that is debatable.
 
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SteamID: theyarecomingforyou
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77. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 16, 2009, 19:59 GT
 
I never expected it to happen
You didn't expect a thin piece of plastic with an aluminum film inside to ever break or scratch especially when it's repeatedly spun at high speed?

there are few things less appealing than a CD-R with a game title scrawled over the front.
So label the case and not the disc like I do.

You can select the "Do not automatically update this game" option to get around that
No you can't. All that setting does is pause the download. The game still won't launch using it because the game won't be "100% ready" until the update is downloaded and applied. Games are checked for updates when Steam is launched and when the game is launched, so Steam won't run a game if it has an available update regardless of that setting. This is especially relevant for retail games which require Steam because when they are installed they must be decrypted first with information received from Steam and then updated. There's no getting around the downloads. Try installing a game like Half-Life 2 or Sin Episodes from a retail disc today over dial-up, and you'll see just how impractical that is. Dial-up or slow internet is not a viable option.

This comment was edited on Apr 16, 2009, 22:17.
 
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76. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 16, 2009, 19:45 theyarecomingforyou
 
When I piss on you it's not intended to cover you in urine and make you stink, turn your clothes yellow and in general make you look and smell like a homeless person. It's to keep dogs away from you. So see I'm just trying to do you a favor.
Ha, bang on!

There was no legitimate excuse for not backing up your discs back then since there was no copy-protection on that game and almost all others from that time. If you could afford $50 for that game, you could afford the extra 50 cents for two blank CD-R's.
I never expected it to happen and there are few things less appealing than a CD-R with a game title scrawled over the front. Optical drives are fast becoming irrelevant with digital distribution and external hard-drives that dwarf DVD-Rs and BD-Rs.

Except dial-up isn't feasible for games which require Steam or similar DRM schemes which force update downloads since downloading dozens or hundreds of megabytes is simply unbearable at dial-up speeds especially when you want to play a game now not hours or days from now.
You can select the "Do not automatically update this game" option to get around that but I agree that it's not exactly a pleasant situation to be in. I favour Impulse's approach in many respects.
 
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75. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 16, 2009, 19:07 GT
 
And back in the day I had my X-Wing Alliance disc crack in the drive.
There was no legitimate excuse for not backing up your discs back then since there was no copy-protection on that game and almost all others from that time. If you could afford $50 for that game, you could afford the extra 50 cents for two blank CD-R's.

Yeah, and if it's really an issue you can always just use as pay by the minute dial-up connection for the few games that need it.
Except dial-up isn't feasible for games which require Steam or similar DRM schemes which force update downloads since downloading dozens or hundreds of megabytes is simply unbearable at dial-up speeds especially when you want to play a game now not hours or days from now.
 
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74. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 16, 2009, 18:58 GT
 
That does suck, but I bet the number of people with a gaming PC and no Internet connection is amazingly small... like, so small it can hardly be taken notice of, unfortunately.
That's right. Fuck those people even if they did pay $50 for the game and now can't return it. Fuck them for being so stupid as to buy a PC game and expect just to put in the disc and play it.
 
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73. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 16, 2009, 18:00 KilrathiAce
 
Statik, steam is not drm free, steam itself is form of drm. This game would succeed a lot better if it was on steam to begin with.  
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"On 2646.215 I myself attacked & destroyed TCS Tiger's Claw in my Jalthi heavy fighter"
Bakhtosh Redclaw Nar Kiranka
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72. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 16, 2009, 17:59 KilrathiAce
 
I am sure xbox360 users who use cracked firmware and pirated this game while back are laughing at PC users. Oh yea the console version had no drm.  
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"On 2646.215 I myself attacked & destroyed TCS Tiger's Claw in my Jalthi heavy fighter"
Bakhtosh Redclaw Nar Kiranka
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71. Re: On Riddick DRM Apr 16, 2009, 17:38 StaTik
 
I'll just wait for a year or so when it hits Steam for $20 DRM free.

You have to numb your mind to the hype and play what you have or what is reasonably priced. A game this new most likely will not run on my PC to my expectations any way.
 
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