EA Games on Steam

Steam News announces that several EA games are now available to their North American customers, including Spore (confirming recent speculation) as well as Spore Creepy & Cute Parts Pack, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, Mass Effect, Need for Speed Undercover, and FIFA Manager 2009. They also say in the coming weeks they will also be adding Mirror's Edge, Red Alert 3, and Dead Space, though there is no indication at this time as to whether they will expand the EA catalog on Steam to other territories. Update: A post on the Steam Users' Forums by one of the moderators states the EA games on Steam will have no third-party DRM (i.e., SecuROM). Thanks nin. We have asked Valve for official word on this as well as whether there are plans to open this up outside of North America. Steam has been listing third-party DRM on game pages lately, and their page for Spore does not mention SecuROM.
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63.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 22, 2008, 13:36
63.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 22, 2008, 13:36
Dec 22, 2008, 13:36
 
Well in Gears of War's case it was a terrible port. Mass Effect was a pretty decent port. People bitched about the game content but I enjoyed it overall and the port itself was well done.
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62.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 22, 2008, 13:20
62.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 22, 2008, 13:20
Dec 22, 2008, 13:20
 
Anecdotally if you check the comments section for Mass Effect torrents, it's pretty funny to read up on the people who gave up and simply bought the game. Take that pirates!
Gears Of War was similar, except people just ended up skipping the game altogether. Apparently the best tactic to hinder piracy is to release non-working versions and create FUD.
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
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61.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 22, 2008, 11:23
61.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 22, 2008, 11:23
Dec 22, 2008, 11:23
 
Um, Mass Effect was properly cracked a long time ago.

There were about 5 non-working cracks and it took about 10 days for a working crack to even emerge. In this time there was a huge amount of confusion on piracy boards and many people simply gave up. Even to this day if you search on 2 of the most popular torrent sites you can still find non-working copies of Mass Effect. I'm not saying you're wrong but it's really a terrible example, Mass Effect was one of the DRM success stories according to Bioware as it lead to them getting very high first week sales.

Anecdotally if you check the comments section for Mass Effect torrents, it's pretty funny to read up on the people who gave up and simply bought the game. Take that pirates!

The real problem with DRM is that there is maybe one major version a year, once it is beat then it's trivial to do so on later releases in that year. That's why so many people say it only hurts consumers. If they had a new release for every game then it would actually prevent piracy for long enough to make me personally consider it worthwhile. I dislike the idea of someone getting a commercial product for free when I am paying money for it, I'll put up with DRM if they make it non-invasive and actually do something to piracy.
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60.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 22, 2008, 10:47
tgr
60.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 22, 2008, 10:47
Dec 22, 2008, 10:47
tgr
 

You are confusing 'ownership' with 'right to redistribute'.

You're confusing owning a physical copy with owning the software itself. Read some EULAs. Anything you buy is a license and can generally be revoked at any time, on a whim, if they wanted to. Boxed copies are just like Steam.

I'm not saying I like that, I'm saying that's how things are written anymore.

I'm going to start off with a disclaimer here. I am not a lawyer so I might have misinterpreted something. So, basically, if I am wrong in my interpretation, please do update me on where I might be wrong. It's always best to have ones facts correct.

Anyhow, if I'm correct, then he's not far off, at least if you're reading the law itself, instead of the EULA which may include whatever the publisher might take as a flight of fancy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine

Specifically:

This leaves the copyright holder, through the terms of the EULA and TOS that many software and music companies favor in order to bypass section 109, liable for Clayton Act violations through the fact that they claim that the purchase of the software or music is not a purchase and that the end user does not own the software but has rights to use it, thus engaging in other acts or practice in the nature of rental or lease. While many states have changed their contract laws so that a sale of software is defined under the UCC, in response to UCITA through so called Anti-UCITA bills, so a purchase of software is a sale under the UCC at the point of purchase, thus the purchaser owns the software at the time of purchase and the EULA terms imposed after the sale, if not disclosed prior to the sale, are unenforceable, other states have not.

Even MicroSoft's tried to enforce the EULA and has in essense lost: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Corp_v._Zamos

This isn't iron-clad however, as it doesn't appear to have been fully set in stone for absolutely all possible variations, but when it comes to games and software, my interpretation of the law is that while the EULA states that we own a license to the software, the law says that we own that one copy of the software. What we then choose to do with that one copy is up to us. What we definitely can't do, however, is make copies and sell/give away. But rent, lend, sell? Our prerogative.

Or, actually, Virginia and Maryland appears to have accepted the UCITA, whereas the other states refused to do so due to the following:
The UCITA has been extremely controversial and has been opposed by a number of consumer groups and the attorney generals of many states because it is said to considerably weaken consumer protections, reinterpret contracts and licenses in such a way that is — in the opinion of these critics — unduly favorable to the software producers and disregarding the reasonable entitlements of consumers.

I'm not going to look into what each and every country practice wrt EULAs and their applicabilities, suffice it to say people should probably read up on this.
59.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 21, 2008, 04:36
59.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 21, 2008, 04:36
Dec 21, 2008, 04:36
 
I don't have the official word, but I have heard that its some sort of temporary issue that should be resolved next week.

Cool, thanks for the update Derek.
58.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 21, 2008, 04:33
58.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 21, 2008, 04:33
Dec 21, 2008, 04:33
 
Um, Mass Effect was properly cracked a long time ago.

My mistake then. I must have missed the one that worked as I gave up looking after a while, I did a bit of research into the multitude of different cracks that were around and decided not to buy the game because it seemed that while there were a few that worked, they all had issues such as breaking certain features in the game.
57.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 20, 2008, 22:44
57.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 20, 2008, 22:44
Dec 20, 2008, 22:44
 
But I thought that the DRM was always cracked within days there by only effecting those coustermers and not the pirates, that's why some people around here whine about it, if what you are saying is true, could it be that those who are fighting DRM with such arugments are full of shit ... never!

Um, Mass Effect was properly cracked a long time ago.

BTW, Kosumo, you should probably quote full sentences rather than excerpts in the future, as that excerpt didn't really make any sense.
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56.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 20, 2008, 22:13
56.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 20, 2008, 22:13
Dec 20, 2008, 22:13
 
With a hard copy, all that stuff is avoided. I still have working games from Microprose, 3DO, Interplay, and many other companies that are no longer in business. I don't think I could ever feel like my purchases are really mine, and that they will always be there.

With a hard copy, that stuff might be avoided if it doesn't have that weird online activation and 'limited installs' DRM.

I just bought Bioshock for twenty bucks and haven't bothered to look up what they removed DRM-wise in the last year. But just because I own the physical disc doesn't make me secure that it will install if Take 2 goes down.

I agree, companies go out of business or get bought out all the time. We read it here often enough. There is no guarantee.

I have probably a couple modern DRM infected hard-copy games and a few from Steam. I understand you can archive Steam games but still need them in business to run them again.

As far as I see it, the only sure-fire method of securing your purchases is to pirate them and store them somewhere. It's technically illegal in many countries and has might give you moral headaches depending on how you view these things.

I haven't bothered yet as I'm kind of lazy (it's a fair amount of work) and don't care enough at the moment. I plan to get on it eventually.
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55.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 20, 2008, 21:10
55.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 20, 2008, 21:10
Dec 20, 2008, 21:10
 
Why NA only? If these games were available in Europe too I would be downloading Mass Effect and Dead Space right now, these are both games that I wanted to buy but didn't due to the DRM in the retail versions.
I don't have the official word, but I have heard that its some sort of temporary issue that should be resolved next week.
Derek French
Technical Producer
BioWare
54.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 20, 2008, 18:17
54.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 20, 2008, 18:17
Dec 20, 2008, 18:17
 
When it comes up, just click "start in offline mode". I have never had an issue where it would not allow me to play the game then.

They have to be prepared beforehand online (fully updated IIRC) before going offline, don't they? Offline mode for earlier versions were a joke.

My main beef with Steam is that someday Gabe Newell is going to die (of a heartattack) and they're going to have a jackass like the EA CEO running Valve and you're going to start seeing policy changes like ads in game or on the steam client itself and not so anonymous metrics collection, etc. They can do whatever they want and if you don't agree to the policy, tough shit and there goes all of your Steam games.


53.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 20, 2008, 14:48
53.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 20, 2008, 14:48
Dec 20, 2008, 14:48
 
..... Effect out there for the crackers to work with will lead to a proper, working crack for the retail version so I .....

But I thought that the DRM was always cracked within days there by only effecting those coustermers and not the pirates, that's why some people around here whine about it, if what you are saying is true, could it be that those who are fighting DRM with such arugments are full of shit ... never!
52.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 20, 2008, 13:09
52.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 20, 2008, 13:09
Dec 20, 2008, 13:09
 
Not in the UK? Then that's no use to me. Bye.
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
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51.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 20, 2008, 12:39
nin
 
51.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 20, 2008, 12:39
Dec 20, 2008, 12:39
 nin
 
Also, I have the right to sell any PC game or disc that I bought, the Supreme Court decided that long ago, so how can I have the right to sell that which I do not own?

You'd be selling the media and the copy of the data on it, that doesn't mean the owner of that software is going to go along with it.

Would you like to by my copies of World of Warcraft? I mean, there's serials in the box, but they won't work for you...


You are confusing 'ownership' with 'right to redistribute'.

You're confusing owning a physical copy with owning the software itself. Read some EULAs. Anything you buy is a license and can generally be revoked at any time, on a whim, if they wanted to. Boxed copies are just like Steam.

I'm not saying I like that, I'm saying that's how things are written anymore.

50.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 20, 2008, 11:25
50.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 20, 2008, 11:25
Dec 20, 2008, 11:25
 
Until these games are available in Europe I can at least hope that having a different version of Mass Effect out there for the crackers to work with will lead to a proper, working crack for the retail version so I can then pick up a copy of ME from ebay for a tenner and not worry about the DRM stopping me from installing it in the future.
49.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 20, 2008, 11:08
49.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 20, 2008, 11:08
Dec 20, 2008, 11:08
 
Coded it yourself therefore you own it? Obviously you have no idea what you are talking about and the billions of dollars spent in IP litigation proves it.

Besides, shrink wrap licenses can't say anything they want when you click on them, don't you know that?

Also, I have the right to sell any PC game or disc that I bought, the Supreme Court decided that long ago, so how can I have the right to sell that which I do not own?

You are confusing 'ownership' with 'right to redistribute'.

48.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 20, 2008, 11:07
Enahs
 
48.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 20, 2008, 11:07
Dec 20, 2008, 11:07
 Enahs
 
What if Steam went bankrupt?
When that happens, it will be a matter of hours before torrent sources are full of the non-steam version of the executable, with all other DRM removed as well! But they have also stated that they will make sure the games are still playable in the event of that.

Yes it sucks to have to rely on that kind of stuff, but that is the world.
I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally.
- W. C. Fields
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47.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 20, 2008, 11:05
Enahs
 
47.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 20, 2008, 11:05
Dec 20, 2008, 11:05
 Enahs
 
I have a question. Is there a way to setup Steam so you don't need an internet connection to launch your games? That's my only complaint about it atm. When my cable goes down here I can't play most of my games because they are on Steam.
When it comes up, just click "start in offline mode". I have never had an issue where it would not allow me to play the game then.

This comment was edited on Dec 20, 2008, 11:05.
I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally.
- W. C. Fields
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46.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 20, 2008, 10:58
46.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 20, 2008, 10:58
Dec 20, 2008, 10:58
 
I have a question. Is there a way to setup Steam so you don't need an internet connection to launch your games? That's my only complaint about it atm. When my cable goes down here I can't play most of my games because they are on Steam.

As others have brought up, there's also the danger Valve could be bought out at some point in the future. I'm fairly sure that's a long way off though.
45.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 20, 2008, 08:54
45.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 20, 2008, 08:54
Dec 20, 2008, 08:54
 
I've stopped using Steam until they fix their European pricing. Right now all they're doing is switching the $ with a €. For example World of Goo will cost me €20 ($28) on Steam. The price on the official World of Goo site is $20. Strange stuff.

In addition to the awful currency conversion (if you can call it that) they're also adding VAT on top of many of the prices, when VAT isn't even required for digital purchases made in Norway, so I guess I'm doubly screwed.
44.
 
Re: EA Games on Steam
Dec 20, 2008, 07:45
J
44.
Re: EA Games on Steam Dec 20, 2008, 07:45
Dec 20, 2008, 07:45
J
 
If RA3 comes to Steam in Europe I've as good as bought it. I wasn't previously considering touching it with a 30ft pole. Treat us fairly and you may just be surprised what happens.
nin: This forum is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Blue: What do you mean, "biblical"?
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