So Who Is DRM For Anyway?

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So Who Is DRM For Anyway?

With Battlefield: Hardline recently announcing it will have DRM, Shamus mulls what use the practice offers.

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Gamers are stupid enough to keep buying the same crap from the same companies that keep crapping on them. Honestly, I've lost all sympathy for the plight of the gaming community because it keeps buying it.

We have two companies (EA, Ubisoft) with a proven track record of just dumping flaming diarrhea on its customers; yet, the gaming community just keeps right on buying from these same companies. These companies aren't doing anything right, at all; it's that gamers keep doing something woefully wrong (throwing money at blatant, unrepentant crooks).

My theory: Tradition and bureaucracy (or possible mishap).

They probably have some design document/guideline that says limited installations are part of their standard DRM package/requirements. Another alternative would be that the devs were sent an old EA guideline by accident. Either way nobody bothered questioning it.

Alternative: The installation limit has always been part of their DRM suite since the Spore days and only this time someone activated a checkbox that nobody had touched in years.

It's a play for the galleries, it's a con by untechsavvie businessmen to tell other untechsavvie businessmen their investment is secure.

I'm quite happy not giving EA or Ubisoft my money though, there's plenty of other companies, making better games, and not being assholes to their customers.

geizr:
Gamers are stupid enough to keep buying the same crap from the same companies that keep crapping on them. Honestly, I've lost all sympathy for the plight of the gaming community because it keeps buying it.

The problem is that for every 1 person that's smart enough and cares enough to not buy games with DRM and other sorts of horrible business practices associated with it there's a hundred idiots that don't know or don't care they are being screwed over that get into some disposable income that keep buying into it. The gaming community's plight is the result of people that aren't really a part of that community making everything worse for everybody.

That, and the number of good and worthwhile games coming out that aren't doing this crap already are few and far between. Sure, there's indie games and other smaller developers out there that don't have DRM and On disc DLC and whatever, but the quality of the games is consequently is much more a hit and miss, not to mention even being aware the games exist in the first place. It's hard not to buy into blatantly exploitative crap like this when the actual choices available to do otherwise are so limited and the bigwigs of the industry know it.

In order for the DRM to work the DRM has to be put in the game. Origin is kind of a form of DRM, but it's just a game delivery platform if the Game doesn't have DRM embedded in it to talk to Origin. Otherwise it would be trivial to launch it without Origin after origin installed it, and trivial to redistribute it.

It's really not hard to see who the DRM is intended for, and who they're counting as pirates who ether aren't, or aren't the kind of pirates everyone thinks of when talk about piracy. Might give you a clue about how they have these stupidly high "piracy" figures.

First thing to point out is the your legal rights on a PC are rather small when it comes to what you can do. This site and others like to propagate this lie that you can just take the copy of Windows on one PC and transfer it to another. That's actually false for 99% of the licences out there and would count towards Windows Piracy figures. For the small percentage who paid a premium for a full retail copy of windows, and not the one slapped on their PC by the manufacture, and not the cheap Upgrade copy you can, but that is a tiny percentage of the market.

This is the core of how piracy tallies are made off of the older games prior to DRM that just had key's. You install the game, and put in your key. That's tallied as 1 legal copy. You format your PC, or get a new one, and put the key in again when you reinstall. That contacts the servers and the servers tally that as a pirated copy because it already has a legal tally for that key. Not actually piracy, but how are they to know you are the same person, and not a new person. Remember second hand software on the PC is also Illegal, and Piracy by law. Also with the Licence model they can Licence you to only be legaly able to reinstall it a set number of times.

Isn't the PC licencing model grand at removing, and impinging on the right of first sale.

This is the kind of piracy Steam, Origin, and Ubisoft are squashing.
This is why they pressed to go digital with the PC early.
This is why they've tried to crush the Used market for systems.

Not like any of them understand the economics of why the Used Market made the Game Industry recession proof for decades, and the moment the get a lock in eroding it the 2008 recession started to hurt them all.

There is no way to fix it. Live with the hell the PC has all dragged us to, and accept that most were complicit on the journey there.

DRM is for the shareholders. The industry have been on a witch-hunt against piracy, blaming their financial troubles on it whether it actually had any considerable effect on profit margins or not. By now it has been ingrained into people's heads that piracy is bad for business. DRM, on the surface, is for combating piracy. It doesn't work, but the investors and shareholders don't necessarily know this. All they "know" is that the eeeeeeeeevil software pirates are lurking outside, and that they want to "steal" their games and destroy their dividends. They want the company to do something about it, and so the company slaps DRM onto their games. It doesn't stop pirates, but the shareholders "think" that it stops them, and therefore they invest more and the company stays afloat and can pay dividends. At the end of the day, DRM is the placebo of the gaming industry.

geizr:
Gamers are stupid enough to keep buying the same crap from the same companies that keep crapping on them.

That's only true to a point though.

Over the last decade my purchases from EA have gone from 'most releases' to Battlefield, Crysis and Mass Effect to Battlefield to nothing.

In 2013 I bought one EA game (Battlefield 4), in 2014 I bought none and 2015 looks like a similar story.

I must spend around $500 a year on gaming, I'm still spending that money, just not with EA and I wonder how many other people out there are steadily repeating the story. Of course none of it matters because EA sports it's a self perpuating devourer of souls with exclusive licenses to everything, EA can heat every developer's home with thousand dollar bills and it would probably still turn a profit.

immortalfrieza:
Sure, there's indie games and other smaller developers out there that don't have DRM and On disc DLC and whatever, but the quality of the games is consequently is much more a hit and miss, not to mention even being aware the games exist in the first place. It's hard not to buy into blatantly exploitative crap like this when the actual choices available to do otherwise are so limited and the bigwigs of the industry know it.

One can always chose to do something else, exercise, read a book, see a movie, write a novel, build a yacht, tend a garden, etc., etc. There're tons of life-fulfilling alternatives to video games, especially when the fun and fulfillment of video gaming keeps being syphoned away by the nefarious tactics of a few companies. Personally, I've been finding myself more involved with board gaming precisely because of all this kind of crap.

I trully dont get this.

Multiplayer bf game. Same thing as last time, a reskin. Dissapointing scores.

Peple will buy it for mp. No one buys it for singleplayer.

They use denuvo drm to make sure pirates cant play a horrible 5 hour campaign. Hundrends of thousands of $$$$ for the drm, they dont even bother adding a fov option so the campaign is playble on a pc.

EA LOGIC.

Then they basicly go with the same garbage they used back in 2009 with limited installs due to changing hardware. Because hey, god forbid someone finds a way to play the copy of he game on multiple systems, that means he is passing the copy around at his friends despite the origin acounts issue. Also lets not forget origin is spyware and makes money of your information.

Then you got nonsense like "no local coop on revelations 2 because we couldnt do it" by capcom, modders prove em wrong they have to patch it in, then you got RE5 re-release using the same argument "we couldnt do it" modder proves it can be done.

Then you wonder why pirates exist while steam is around...did i mention this game is not on steam.

It was nice for a while that ea didnt do anything so they didnt look like the devil, but now they are back at it again.

It only locks out if someone rapidly installs the same license on 8 different machines within a certain time period. It is a timed lockout. So eventually the lock would go away. So this shouldn't even impact the second-hand market depending on the length of the timeout.

The only person this hurts is someone installing the same license over and over again. By using the local hardware then EA is creating some weird kind of two-form authentication here. Since the information is stored on a server then this really isn't something that is all that crackable. You have to basically ghost the same image to make the server think it's the same machine to even get close or to make the server think every pirated copy is a unique version.

I think this may actually work in fighting mass distribution in a way that would never impact an individual consumer but would prevent the average pirate from obtaining a copy illegally.

Shamus (or anyone else), can you clarify if my premise is valid? If so, this may actually be the first form of DRM I'm actually ok with.

My theory on what happened:

Dev 1: So ... there's this left over money in the budget. What should we use it on?
Dev 2: DRM?
Dev 3: Really? On top of Origin? That's what we're going to spend the money on?
Dev 1: Sure. If we don't use it, our budget for the sequel won't be as big!

I work with a the type of people being complained about here. I can't understand it. They:

1) Will buy and play almost any FPS, even if it's not very good or original at all, "at least it's something new and any FPS is fun. If any is fun, I question why they don't just stick with older ones, which is met with shrugs.

2) Claim to hate the crap companies like EA does, then the game comes out, and 1-2 people buy it anyway, then they all follow cause they have to all have the same game to play.

3) Play the game hard for 1-2 weeks, tops. Usually 1 week. Then they move onto the next one. At least most of them use Gamefly for a lot of it so they're not directly giving money to these companies, but then they'll turn around a month or so later and like clockwork, decide to all rent it again from Gamefly, and pay to keep it this time because now it's "only" $35 or so. Then play it for 1-2 weeks, tops, and move onto something else.

4) Scoff at playing games on a PC, despite them all being in IT with me. They all know PCs well. They all understand the economics of it. Most have PCs hooked up to giant monitors or TVs already. But they all need to be on X-box live cause everyone's on X-Box live.

I gave up a long time ago trying to understand how these guys function. They generally all go home at night, get on X-box live, get wasted, and play the FPS of the minute till 2 AM, then spend the whole next day complaining how tired they are. Repeat that process at least 3 times during the week and twice on weekends.

Perhaps it's the precursor to some new DRM monstrosity EA is concocting? There's theories floating around that this will be the dev studio's swan song, so if EA is just expecting the title to toe the line perhaps they're using it as early staging.

About Point #2 (Brandon Could Buy The Game If He Wanted), does EA really only target DRM at people who could pay? Is it not that Brandon (and all the other pirates) are still costing the company money through server time? It seems like making it a hassle for Brandon to access the game illegally encourages him to either buy it outright, or go find some other game and not take up space in Hardline's infrastructure. The return on investment is however much would have been spent per pirate, plus the more nebulous value of having servers that aren't overloaded by a bunch of pirates and causes legitimate buyers to think that EA is incompetent or that Battlefield has a terrible back end, leading them to not purchase any more titles.

GabeZhul:
snip

Always handy to have people who didn't read the article out themselves.

Have not purchased an EA game since BF3 and its bugs, drm dlc misery drove me away. Battlefront is going to have to be the second coming of christ before I'll even consider it.

Hardline has, afaik, already far fewer copies sold and fewer games played than Battlefield 4.

So maybe the people who buy these games wake up - or it just has to do with the scenario.

This reminds me of my own situation with Dragon Age Inquisition, where we bought a boxed copy of the game (because fuck downloading it over Australian internet), then found you can only have it installed on one Origin account at a time, meaning we can't play multiplayer and have to kick each other off every time one of us wants to play it. We live under the same roof, these sort of restrictions are just asinine.

Who is it for? The secret Valve plant who works for EA and is trying to sabotage their reputation even more to make Valve look better by comparison, naturally. ;)

But in all seriousness, it really does seem like the people in charge of major corporations are robots programmed to evaluate all possible options and then make whatever decision is deemed to be the stupidest, because there's no way a human being, even one with severe mental disabilities, could reach the conclusions that they reach sometimes. Happens in marketing too; remember when the takeaway from Mars Needs Moms being such a box office flop wasn't that the movie itself was stupid and terrible, but that audiences have an aversion to anything with "Mars" in the name? I shit you not; that's why John Carter of Mars got its title cut down.

Kingjackl:
This reminds me of my own situation with Dragon Age Inquisition, where we bought a boxed copy of the game (because fuck downloading it over Australian internet), then found you can only have it installed on one Origin account at a time, meaning we can't play multiplayer and have to kick each other off every time one of us wants to play it. We live under the same roof, these sort of restrictions are just asinine.

If you had bought it for a console, you'd still only be able to play it on one system at a time because there's only one disc, so I don't see how this is so horrible exactly?

schmulki:
I work with a the type of people being complained about here. I can't understand it. They:

1) Will buy and play almost any FPS, even if it's not very good or original at all, "at least it's something new and any FPS is fun. If any is fun, I question why they don't just stick with older ones, which is met with shrugs.

Which can be said about the preferred genre of anyone who buys a lot of games. Few things are more loathsome than listening to someone lecture about how refined their own gaming tastes are compared to those cavemen who like multiplayer shooters.

schmulki:
4) Scoff at playing games on a PC, despite them all being in IT with me. They all know PCs well. They all understand the economics of it. Most have PCs hooked up to giant monitors or TVs already. But they all need to be on X-box live cause everyone's on X-Box live.

Apparently it escaped your notice that the article specifically refers to DRM on PCs. As console DRM tends to be much less obtrusive, this would exclude your friends from the category of battered wives who complain about bad experiences with DRM but continue to support the offending companies.

No, it appears that the singular purpose of your post was to let everyone know just how high your gaming horse is to be able to look down on your lowly coworkers and the "type of people" like them.

Yes, DRM isn't there to appease the shareholders. It's there to appease the tech illiterate businessmen who foolishly fear lower profits and their shareholders rarely complaining of lower profits over their customers commonly lashing out against anti-consumer DRM[1] and to keep the pirates busy cracking the DRM for the first few weeks while the majority of the revenue is being made. DRM is still generally evil, though.

This 8 install DRM, though, really could only affect the typical user if an error occurs and s/he is hit with a false positive, or they really do try installing Hardline on 8 PCs. As Shamus points out, it's a stupid form of DRM who's only real effects are wasting EA's time and money to implement and generating more bad press. They should have had the foresight to see at least a few out there would use Hardline as a benchmark and the internet would blow the effects of this particular DRM out of proportion.

EA should have just relied on Origin's built in DRM, just like Ubisoft should just rely on Origin's and Steam's, instead of tacking on Uplay to games on the other services. Ubi lost me as a customer for that years ago.

[1] Regrettably, there are people who still buy things with horrible DRM schemes, like always online single player or absolute limited installs, lowering the effectiveness of the voices arguing against that sort of DRM.

Steve the Pocket:

Kingjackl:
This reminds me of my own situation with Dragon Age Inquisition, where we bought a boxed copy of the game (because fuck downloading it over Australian internet), then found you can only have it installed on one Origin account at a time, meaning we can't play multiplayer and have to kick each other off every time one of us wants to play it. We live under the same roof, these sort of restrictions are just asinine.

If you had bought it for a console, you'd still only be able to play it on one system at a time because there's only one disc, so I don't see how this is so horrible exactly?

It's installed on both computers, no disc required. Not to get all Master Race-y on you, but these aren't the limits of the consoles that apply here. It's the limits of the "one account, one install" DRM that nobody asked for. If this were the old days, we could both have it installed and be able to play it at the same time. At the moment, we have to make do with offline mode, but that means we can't play multiplayer with each other.

(Anti-warning disclaimer - I do not promote piracy and have made sure that the post does not reflect the opposite.)

So while this is sort of an old topic, I'm glad to see someone bring it up again. That any company would still use DRM, apart from online validation, is mindblowingly stupid.

Piracy is generally a non-problem in the western world, since most people can afford the games they want. In less developed countries there generally isn't a market for overpriced luxuries, so what's the issue?

My guess is the usual suspects, the marketing suits and the occasional butthurt creators (artists, writers, singers, musicians, developers etc.), like Lars Ulrik, make a big deal out of it and blow up the consequences.
Huge record company sues for millions of dollars and it makes it to big media. Big media then portrays it as an epidemic and pretties it up with numbers; "200 billion dollars of yearly lost revenue due to piracy".
Since logic isn't applied, the general public assume that massive amounts of jobs are being lost, to general greedy behaviour.
Big companies assume they're losing massive amounts of revenue.
The logic is obvious to anyone who's actually considered the issue; A pirated copy is not a lost sale. Content might not be available legally in the area it's downloaded. Content might be bug-ridden and useless without a cracked exe. Content might only be available online and sold on the streets on discs. Other factors might apply.

So without thinking about it, the suits start demanding DRM for a game that will very likely be pirated, because numbers.

It's such a strange topic that has strange consequences. For example, users on this site and many others can't advocate or admit to having illegally downloaded games.
Why? Because sites like this one are part of a business with set rules. These rules may apply to advertisement and "polite conversation", so allowing discussion of this automatically has advertisement companies sort the site from their customer list.

If I were to admit to buying a knock-off on the street of an actual physical item (like a purse, shoes or spare parts for cars and motorcycles), that would be okay (at least I think the rules here don't cover that).
How screwed up is that? Knock-off's actually do damage to a company, since their brand suffers and they are more likely to suffer a loss of sale than a band or game developer... Not only that, but some companies receive complaints about these products and again lose reputation because of it.

Also, governments generally don't understand how piracy works or what the effects of it are, so they give companies the benefit of the doubt and leave the general populace in the ditch.

-

I think I've said this many times, especially on this site, but I'll say it again.
The only way to combat piracy is to compete with it. It's not about being free, but being better.

Outdated license agreements are holding back services like Netflix and are still preventing European countries from watching the newest episodes of different shows and movies. This is in part due to "old" content still being sold here and other places to tv stations, but it's a lousy argument as more and more people are cutting their cables and moving their entertainment to their internet connection.
Why would you pay for a set list of programs and advertisements in between, when you could see what you want, when you want it?

This makes these services a stroke of genius and superb convenience that doesn't bother people with unwanted content. However, as mentioned, a European Netflix account doesn't allow access to the things that an American account does. People here aren't even allowed to own an American account, so it's not an alternative.
Let me just repeat that: People who want to pay for content, aren't allowed to do so.

Let that sink in for a second, and realize just how mindnumblingly stupid it is and you'll gain a small glimpse of why piracy is still an issue for anyone, at all.

I don't subscribe to any of these services, so if anyone can enlighten me as to whether or not a service like Netflix displays advertisements or commercials, please let me know. If so, then that's another backwards step for the industry.

There's a ton more on the subject to discuss, like whether or not it hurts small developers and indie bands (it's unlikely and can't be proven anyway).

EA finally chucked John Riccitiello, he of the 'would only greenlight multiplayer games' and project $10. Their recent debacles shows clearly he wasn't the only problem at EA. Being wrong is deeply embedded within the culture of EA.

Time for an up to date EA Motto!

EA, where the customer is always a crook. It was them or us.

I want to point out that hypothetical reports are terrible and confusing for stupid people like me. Be clear and direct with your points.

I have a legal digital download of FarCry 2 that I managed to go through the amount of install they had and 1 of them was because the server I was trying to revoke on didn't do it. So I went ahead and downloaded a DRM free pirate version of the software I owned. I promptly emailed Ubisoft telling them that 2 of the torrent download counts were mine and was because of the DRM. For me I believe that if the DRM can make the game unplayable and you did buy it then grabbing a DRM free version off a torrent site and telling the publisher that you did it is not piracy and drives home a message that the DRM used is unacceptable especially when it was a digital download from their server where they can see that it was the same IP for each download and every login on the forums that directly related to each install.

Now they have Origin and Uplay so there is NO valid reason for limited installs or other ridiculous DRM bullshit

When they stopped using the limited install DRM for FC2 I was given the fortunes pack DLC for free and my account was never banned even though I used my email that was used when registering.

The reason I was driven to steam was because I got burned by a boxed copy of spore and thought platforms like steam would not have additional layers of DRM on top of them since that makes no sense but nope.
How is hard to remove shit that buries itself into the guts of your computer without ever asking for permission still not illegal?
It should at least be fully disclosed what type of DRM a publisher thinks their game needs on top of the steamworks or origin ones I already know of so I can't accidentally step on that landmine.

I think the main reason why new games with bad DRM issues not selling very well is simply a case of the chickens coming home to roost.

It all comes down to short sighted money grabbing. The only people who want DRM are the bean counters at the top who don't really understand that games are a different medium. Though when one dwells upon the issue, I think I can understand why they do this.

The suits have got to realise that DRM not only doesn't work but it ultimately cheeses off the people who ultimately buy the games. Happy customers provide more money than any share-holders.

Look back to 1995 and a little game called Doom - that stonking game made money for ages after it was out because there was little DRM, little hype, the customers were happy and the devs at Id software let them mod the game and were generally all around lovely to their fans - securing their loyalty. (Even after the odd turkey like Rage was released...)

Fast foward to today, games are ultimately getting more and more bland, hyped as if they were the second coming of Christ, the devlopers are told to act more like salesmen toward the public by their masters.

And the last turn of the screw comes in the form of being told to add DRM as a final "Fick dich" to anyone who wants to buy the game by making them essentially surrender their rights as a consumer because they had the temerity to buy and own the game as opposed to pay for the permission to play the publisher's game. (Which is how the publishers see things...)

All this isn't truly the fault of the developer, but publishers who want to act like control freaks who wield all the power. But all they're doing is cutting off their own noses to spite their faces and acting like spoiled children who take their frustrations out on their toys when called out on their behavior.

But all that's just my two penneth worth.

This whole question is at the heart of what's wrong with EA, or any big company.

Companies as they grow develop more and more momentum. When they're young they don't develop much and it runs out quickly if there isn't lots of energy being introduced. That's one of the reasons small promising companies disappear, they just couldn't maintain the momentum. But as they grow and develop a larger and larger "management" hierarchy the energy needed to maintain the momentum becomes less and less. What was once a lean efficient enterprise out of necessity, eventually becomes a lumbering giant. That is some what top heavy due to middle managers needing to justify and protect their power base., Also prone to mishaps, due to the "too many chiefs not enough indians" rule. But due to it's enormous built up momentum it can take the hit from their mistakes and keep upright and mobile. For their survivability this is a good thing. But it also means due to the momentum that they aren't very flexible, nor quick to react to outside events. And all the chiefs and sub chiefs don't want to put their necks in a noose by actually thinking outside the box. So the same mistakes just keep being made. This is also why Valve is such a great company, no hierarchy system.

All this makes it almost like EA (and many other large companies) is living in their own little world, that is responsive to their rules and logic, no matter how much the reverse is proven to them. Over and over again they chant the proven mantras. DRM works. In game microtransactions work. F2P lets us deliver compelling experiences. Selling buggy unfinished games work. Selling skinner boxes as games work. Etc. And the sad thing is there are just enough people falling for the BS that they have data to back up these falsehoods. Or least the experts advising the CEO, CFO, and CTO have enough. And every now and then they actually make a game like the last Dragon Age that give the beleaguered believers a bit of hope that all the stupidity is done with. But EA's built up momentum won't allow it to be.

Oh and and I actually have stopped buying EA products. After the Simcity reboot, or as I call it, lets reboot Simcity to be a Sims clone, and BF3 or CoD wannabe, and total proof Quicktime events aren't gameplay and SUCK sweaty balls, I said no more. Does mean I missed out on Dragon Age, but I'm staying strong. [sob]

wetfart:
My theory on what happened:

Dev 1: So ... there's this left over money in the budget. What should we use it on?
Dev 2: DRM?
Dev 3: Really? On top of Origin? That's what we're going to spend the money on?
Dev 1: Sure. If we don't use it, our budget for the sequel won't be as big!

Pretty sure the devs have no say on the issue, it's one of likely many items mandated by the publisher in order to get the funding.

i just really hate the multiple levels of drm i mean they have origin that should be enough

its the same as when i try to play any ubisoft game on steam and it launches uplay on top of it

StreamerDarkly:
A bunch of garbage

I absolutely love this reply. It's nothing but a load of garbage ignoring 905 of what was said while trying to be on the highest of horses possible, while trying to claim I'm on a high horse about something. Bravo random internet person, bravo.

Ok, no one responded the first time I pointed this out. So I'll try again:

1. This DRM would impact almost NO legitimate customer. You have to install it on 8 machines in a short amount of time. Once locked, it is a timed lock so eventually you will be able to install it on more machines.

2. This would only impact mass distributions of the same copy.

3. Because it tracks the computer hardware and is checked by the server rather than the software, this may actually be an effective two-factor authentication that finally actually works. In order for someone to trick the system they'd have to go through major hoops like ghosting the same hardware right down to the MAC or generating a new viable license with every distributed copy. These are major hurdles for people and aren't as simple as just cracking the Software. The fact that the software doing the verification is on the server side makes all the difference.

So really, it seems to be the first bit of DRM I've ever seen that may actually be doing it right. Non-invasive to likely every legitimate customer and only harmful to mass distributors of the same license (aka Pirates).

Does someone have a real complaint about this? A real problem that isn't just the "spirit of the thing" they're bristling at? Seriously, because I'm scratching my head here and wondering what sort of person would rapidly install the same license more than 8 times within a short time period? Laptop, a couple home computers, a couple friend's? Sure. But 8?

I could easily imagine this being standard DRM in the future and I honestly don't have a problem with it if that's all it does.

Lightknight:

Does someone have a real complaint about this? A real problem that isn't just the "spirit of the thing" they're bristling at? Seriously, because I'm scratching my head here and wondering what sort of person would rapidly install the same license more than 8 times within a short time period? Laptop, a couple home computers, a couple friend's? Sure. But 8?

I suppose you could technically reach the limit rather fast if you're idea of fun is swapping out lots of hardware, like your GPU and RAM, and benchmarking, like Shamus briefly broached upon in his column. Though I have no idea who would be installing a game on 2-3 computers and then spend time swapping out the GPU in all of them like 3 times each just to get some benchmarks.

To be honest, I have only been hassled by DRM once (StarForce in the Witcher) and that was because StarForce decided my x48 DVD drive was actually a virtual reader and thus refused to read the DVD. The problem was solved by plugging in a x12 USB DVD Writer, which StarForce accepted without questions (despite the claim that StarForce would block all writers...). Never had any other DRM problems apart from occasional network issues with stuff like DA:Os profile system. So I don't really see the big deal about DRM, considering how rampant piracy is I understand that the suits in the companies feel a need to do something to try and thwart piracy of their products, even if that something is near pointless and pisses of some legitimate customers. As a community, gamers brought DRM upon themselves.

The big flaw in Shamus' premise is his number one assumption. That Brandon is not a pirate.

See, this DRM (until someone tells me why I'm wrong which is what I'm seeking) directly impacts torrent sites. The moment one license gets downloaded and installed 8 times, its' suddenly unusable.

In throwing #1 in as a given, he automatically disregarded the only reason why the DRM makes sense and it's a huge reason because it makes any given link to a single install file significantly less useful whereas in the past you could have thousands of people download the same file and it would work as long as your reg key worked or whatever.

But keep in mind, I'm not a pirate. So maybe you all know something I don't. Is mass generating unique licenses of the game easy to do and if so, is there a simple way to distribute it to a mass of people that doesn't still result in licenses getting installed 8 times because 8 people installed them at the same time?

Gethsemani:

Lightknight:

Does someone have a real complaint about this? A real problem that isn't just the "spirit of the thing" they're bristling at? Seriously, because I'm scratching my head here and wondering what sort of person would rapidly install the same license more than 8 times within a short time period? Laptop, a couple home computers, a couple friend's? Sure. But 8?

I suppose you could technically reach the limit rather fast if you're idea of fun is swapping out lots of hardware, like your GPU and RAM, and benchmarking, like Shamus briefly broached upon in his column. Though I have no idea who would be installing a game on 2-3 computers and then spend time swapping out the GPU in all of them like 3 times each just to get some benchmarks.

Couple points here:

1. You don't reinstall a game if you swap out RAM or really anything other than the storage where it's otherwise installed. Has anyone verified that slapping the HDD or SSD into 8 different machines triggers this error message or is it only when installing it fresh for the 8th time on new hardware?
2. We actually don't know what they mean by different hardware. As far as we know, it isn't tied to the specs so much as the MAC address or something like that. The smart option would be tied to a unique HDD serial or something like that if there's any sort of unique ID standard for storage devices.
3. Keep in mind that this is also tied to time. Given an infinite amount of time time you should be able to install this game an infinite number of times.

My guess is that this DRM only presented itself when someone tried to distribute a license to pirates and this came up.

To be honest, I have only been hassled by DRM once (StarForce in the Witcher) and that was because StarForce decided my x48 DVD drive was actually a virtual reader and thus refused to read the DVD. The problem was solved by plugging in a x12 USB DVD Writer, which StarForce accepted without questions (despite the claim that StarForce would block all writers...). Never had any other DRM problems apart from occasional network issues with stuff like DA:Os profile system. So I don't really see the big deal about DRM, considering how rampant piracy is I understand that the suits in the companies feel a need to do something to try and thwart piracy of their products, even if that something is near pointless and pisses of some legitimate customers. As a community, gamers brought DRM upon themselves.

Invasive mandatory logins into programs like Origin are a big one for me. Forced logins in single player modes are another.

Stuff like SimCity was a nightmare. It all depends on what games you play.

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