Codemasters CEO: We Can Beat Piracy by Selling Unfinished Games

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Jieddo

This sounds like something dreamed up by a business executive looking to make a name for himself by solving the piracy issue, the only thing thing is this doesnt solve anything. Im sure all the software engineers and systems analysts were shaking their heads when this was proposed. Sell unfinnished games, would you buy an unfinnished car? you get your engine after you successfully made your first three payments. You get your wheels after six months. lol. no one is going to purchase an incremental game. And these games will still be on torrent sites, crackers will just wait for someone who purchased the full game and copy it and strip all the DRM and then crack the game using the demo executable. Codemasters will look like fools.

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milehighxr

Guess i won't be buying those games. Oh well no biggie, I haven't been hardcore gaming since Baldurs Gate/Icewind Dale.

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Fecal Face

The sad thing about any kind of DRM (including this, if it counts as a form of DRM), is:

Pirates always find a way around it.

Legitimate users do not.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Zune HD = Happiness

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FunkySquirrel

There are stupid ideas, and then there are stupid ideas.

And then there's crap like this.

Whoever at Codemasters actually thought this would be a good idea is so full of idiot, protozoa look down on him. You know what people pay for unfinished items?

NOTHING. Only a complete moron would actually want something like this.

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GrimResistance

I will not buy half of a game, not even for half price

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bingojubes

But they need to start being creative and make GOOD games that are WORTH the purchase model. Then how would they regulate the rest of the content? I guess they can have it like Steam, and link game content keys to a players' account. Should these kind of games fail to register/link anything, however, my guess is this:

1. Game comes out for 25$ for a section of the core game. play it to get started, and maybe get thru 4 levels, then...

2.  Go pay 5$ and download the next 4 levels or RPG "acts"

3. Pay another 5$ to finish the game, with the final Content packages.

OR...

Players who had to buy it in the first place might wait to pay for the core game and all of the "add-ons" (good scenario), but then upload it via torrent as the full game+crack (sour scenario). Patience shall be rewarded.

Also to mention that it worked (i guess) for the Monkey Island remake of Le Chuck's Revenge(?) the core game was pretty cheap, and you could by each act separately each month, and when the price totaled around 50$ over the course of a few weeks/months, you ended up with the entire game to play straight through.

 

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dankers

Steam.

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LatiosXT

At this point I kind of wish game developers focused less time on defeating pirates and more time working on games that you know, are actually fun. Jerkwads always exist. Finding ways to defeat them by punishing legitimate buyers only creates more jerkwads.

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cap737

Quit playing singleplayer games on the PC and move to console gaming. What do you get with console gaming?

-a full game for $50 or $60

-able to play the game W/O an internet connection

-free game updates through XBL or PSN

-option to buy add-ons/map packs/expansions using points on XBL or PSN 

-NO DRM INSTALLED ON YOUR CONSOLE! 

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samduhman

WOW, I can't believe you said that on a website that specializes in PCs. You should be tared and feathered. Consoles are inferior in every aspect. They are nothing more than entry level PCS......5 year old PCs at that.

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aviaggio

Not to mention that more and more console games are going the same route with DLC.

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tsathoggua

consoles are hobbled tech, and most games on consoles require broadband connection. the ps3 and xbox 360 look like crap. i'm not paying to play games that look like crap.

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gripssl

Consoles are not the answer to this dilemma of PC gaming.  PC games have the potential to be better than consoles games in every way, even the games ported from console to PC end up better.

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stradric

@gripssl PC games have the potential to be better than consoles games in every way, even the games ported from console to PC end up better.

You don't come off biased at all, no sir. There are some very profound examples of horrid console ports -- like Assassin's Creed where it takes literally 5 minutes just to exit the game. Aside from that, certain games are best played with a controller from the comfort of one's couch while looking at a 40+ inch screen.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm a PC gamer at heart, but when you say that PC gaming is better than console gaming in "every way", you're just not being intellectually honest and your argument suffers for it. Console gaming is great, and there's something to be said for the simplicity of paying $300 for a console and a game, plugging it in and playing. PCs have a good few hours of setup time and configuration before you can start playing a game. Plus a gaming PC will cost over $500 easily.

With that being said, console gaming is not the answer to piracy either. I personally do not mind the log-in-to-play type of DRM that you typically get with Steam or GFWL or even Battle.net. But I also have a 35mbps FiOS connection at home, so I'm biased.

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tsathoggua

i have paid for my games since i started playing on the pc.

 i have not and will not buy any game with this sort of drm, or any game that requires a constant on connection. 

 if you can't figure out a way to stop piracy that doesn't punish me, a paying consumer, i'l just start buying more audiobooks and maybe a pass to the local rifle range or go-kart track. i am done with this crap.

here's a list of games i bought and had to crack because the publisher would not honor my key:

RE4

bioshocks 1&2

halflife 2

m&m dark messiah

gears of war

mass effect

in every case i was unable to rectify the situation with publishers and now can't access multiplayer functions i PAID for. 

 

 

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rwalker3k

This is just an excuse to keep soaking the customers.  Most of the pirates only do it for the fun of beating the protection and don't play the game and probably wouldn't have bought the game anyway.  Game makers lose more sales to DRM headachs than pirates.

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JohnP

 After making my 1st comment, I got to thinking. So far as I know, NO ONE has figured out a way with World of Warcrat MMO to get, say, the super cool mounts (that come with a code from card packs). With 11 million players, you think someone would have busted that by now, but I have not heard of any...

Is Blizzard just the role model that everyone else is going to have to follow?

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aviaggio

Because the tech is completely different. When you play an MMO the entire game is on their servers. All you have on your end is the client and game assets. You can't hack a game if you don't have access to the files. 

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mesiah

You just can't satisfy people these days. Nothing these publishers could do short of just offering bins of free copies of their new releases at your local grocery store would satisfy people.

I agree that highly restrictive DRM is the wrong way to go about things. But if you people would actually sit back and listen to what this guy has to say, it actually makes alot of sense. Everyone is assuming that they intend to release half functioning games at the same $50-$60. That is not at all what is being talked about. What is being talked about is releasing the core of the game for a substantially reduced price (it is stated that the titles would be affordable.)

The idea isn't that this system would prevent piracy. The idea is that it will give people more of an incentive not to pirate games. I'll be honest, When I see a $50 price tag on a game I think twice about buying it. If that game was $20 I wouldn't hesitate. It would also generate alot more sales for casual gamers. Most casual gamers don't ever explore the full content of a game anyway. They would be perfectly content with the $20 version.

If you think this is a horrible model that you would never participate in, I have bad news for most of you. You already participate in this sales model. iTunes has been using it for years. Before iTunes people were getting sick of paying $20 for a CD. Music piracy was rampant. Not just the hard core tech people were pirating, it was everyone. It was children, it was businessmen, it was mothers and fathers. It was free and relatively easy. You didn't have to pay $20 to hear the one song you liked off of an album. Then along came iTunes. Suddenly instead of paying $20 for that one song, you could pay $0.99, it was just as fast and easy as pirating, but it was totally legit. Suddenly the average person stopped pirating and started using music services to get their tunes. It didn't prevent pirating, but it made music affordable and easy enough to aquire that for most, stealing just wasn't worth it any more

If this model means $20 playable games, I am all for it.

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Tungil90

That's exactly what i thought about the Games! 

I would be very happy if games were not that expencive anymore, and i only play occasionally so I would be satisfied with the "slim"-game verison^^

 

(a little bit of Topic )  

But to your iTunes point: I dont like this model of buying just the one song you want to listen to, cause then (on the customer side ) you might miss some really good songs on the same cd/album and (on the musician side) it's much harder to make ANY profit ( see this graphics http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/how-much-do-music-artists-earn-online/ )  and if you really like music you have to support the bands/musicians 

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aviaggio

Exactly... a nice story.

Problem is, when was the last time you saw a game publisher be so benevolent? Do you REALLY think they're gonna sell you the entire single-player package for $20 or $30? Not likely. The goal is to make MORE money, not less. They make more money by 1.) charging you more for the same amount of content ($50 for the unfinished game + 3 x $10 DLC packs > $60 they would normally charge), 2.) obliterate the used market, and 3.) reducing casual and/or 0-day piracy.

So please don't delude yourself into thinking they're trying to do you a favor by offering up only the parts of the game you want to play for a significantly reduced fee. NOT. GONNA. HAPPEN.

Anything they try to sell us for $20-$30 is going to be nothing more than a 2 or 3 level demo.

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Neufeldt2002

That assumes that one is using craptunes.

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mesiah

There are services other than iTunes. I only used that in the example because it is the most widely used. You can deny it all you want, but sites like iTunes and amazon music go a long way to lessening the impact of piracy.

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thesmilies

LOOK! Another way to hassle legitimate consumers!

Pirates will always find a way around stuff like this. As much as it sucks, its going to happen like it or not.

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Mighty BOB!

"Oh hi, we're going to sell you this car, but the windshield wipers, headlights, airbags, and rear view mirrors are not included as part of the experience.  You'll have to pay extra for each of those things."

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mdkplus

So I bought my son Supreme Commander 2, by Gas Powered Games. He started to install it, only to find out that in order to fully install it he is forced to download and install Steam, which then forces him to download and install an update to the game over 1 gb in size. Nowhere on the box, label or anywhere does it let you know you MUST have internet and have/install STEAM in order to play this game. Can't return it, it's opened. If we didn't have broadband we would be literally and completely screwed. My son is still waiting for the update to finish downloading while I write this. I will NEVER buy another game by GPG. STEAM, I dealt with you in the past with Half life and CS2, etc.. and even though you make game updating a breeze (when you work for a change) I still say YOU SUCK for preventing me to use my legally purchased titles without your consent. So go ahead and sell your unfinished product, Rod, I won't be buying it. And when I build YOUR house don't be surprised when it starts raining and you get wet "OH, YOU WANT A ROOF ON THAT? well the COMPLETE home cost a little more, and you have to move in first. I don't include shingles because somebody else might copy my design and build there own."

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No0b-0-rAmA

This is extremly depressing. This is exactly what was mentioned on the no bs podcast. None of this will stop pirating games, because pirates always will find a way to pirate games, just like dlc. Codemasters is just encouraging people to take the simple way out: go pirate the game. It just makes the consumer want to either steal it, don't buy it, or leave the PC platform. This is the wrong way to go.

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timmyw

While this is fine for an MMO, such as DDO, that requires active upkeep, server costs, and new content plus they do give you limited access for free, I don't like the model at all for a single-player game (that I supposedly paid for) sitting on my harddrive.

The worst part is publishers don't get it. No amount of DRM will prevent your game from being pirated[period]. DRM can only serve to alienate your paying customers. The 'missing' parts of the game will be cracked, and if I as a paying customer found that I couldn't finish playing my game because the publisher withheld parts of it, I would feel very little remorse 'finding' those missing pieces.

Note to publishers:

  1. Make a good (complete) game.
  2. Make me want more of it.
  3. Make expansions and add-on so that I have more.

Or better yet:

  1. Make totaly amazing game.
  2. Make a completely different totally amazing game. 

I don't really have a problem with add-on and expansions because if I don't enjoy the game I simply won't buy the expansion but at least I got a complete game.

The one thing I hate about expansions is buying the game when it first comes out for $50 then being charged $20 more for the expansion, only to find out that latecomers are now being offered a 'gold' edition of both the original and expansion for $50. It doesn't make me want to be an early adopter.

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Lelldorianx

First of all: What? Wouldn't the pirates just download that, too? This was already tried in the form of DLC... anyone remember horse armor?

 Secondly: This is ridiculous. It makes me WANT to pirate games, actually. I already paid for an incomplete game with APB and BC2, and if I had the choice to go back, I would not have bought either in its current state (though I am not saying I would pirate them, I just wouldn't buy them).

Stupid CEOs. Leave it to them to figure out how to rip people off most efficiently.

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Bucket_Monster

What happens if you can't get online to finish buying your game?

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FuriousDre

Not sure some of you get it, or maybe I don't. I think CM means selling the game that'd be normally $50, for $30 instead. THen you'd buy, say the other 4 parts of, the game for 5 bucks a piece.

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aviaggio

Well that's what he implies. But if you notice he never really says how much he thinks the unfinished game should sell for. He then comments about how it'll be a financial boon to studios, so I can only imagine he's thinking more along the lines of $50 for the unfinished game and then multiple $10 DLC packs. Thanks, but no thanks.

This sounds an awful lot like the equally-retarded idea of paid demos that came up a few months ago.

Next question: how exactly is this going to deter pirates? They'll just hack the DLC bundles. Duh. So again the paying customer gets screwed because they will get half a game in a box and the other half they'll have to download. It'll have little to no resale value. No way to back up for future installations without redownloading. Highly probable limitations on how often it can be reinstalled in full and on the # of machines (want to have the full game on your desktop AND laptop -- too fucking bad). And no way to put the entire game on the shelf and pick it up again in a few years. And what happens when the authentication and DLC servers are taken offline in a few years? Tough shit to all the suckers who paid for content they can no longer get? Yeah, thought so.

Sorry, another epic fail. Maybe if developers put more energy into making better, cheaper games (or not paying their leads Wall Street salaries; yeah I'm looking at you Cliffy) instead of finding new and exciting ways to screw over paying customers they wouldn't have so many piracy issues.

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Tyger

Well that seems fair, full price for a half finished game, and then you get the privlidge of paying even more money to continue/finish an experience you've already paid for.  This is just blatent greed.  I understand they're tryiing to fight piracy, but every attempt they make to fight it only ends up hurting those that pay.  This just adds insult to injury, for full price you get half of what you paid for, we're going to make it as difficult as possible for you to be able to finish the game, and we're going to charge you for it as well.  It's not like this is DLC or something, this is the actual game, not an add on.  What a rip off.

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Biceps

What is the next Codemasters game coming out?  Not gonna be buying it!

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Xerloq

This is just an excuse for publishers to release half-baked games for the same price. If you don't like the game, they'll simply say "you should spend more money. Then perhaps you'll like it."

DRM doesn't stop piracy, it just makes DRM developers rich, ruins the user experience and gives investors a false sense of security from the "threat" of "lost revenue" from FUD of organizations like the BSA. No, not the Boy Scouts.

Ultimately, publishers will have to trust their users and provide added-value for purchasing games legitimately, lest they go the route of the hated and maligned RIAA. Once publishers provide a better user-experience than the pirates, they'll win.

 

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IFLATLINEI

Many developers have been selling unfinished games already.

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I Jedi

Hello, police, I think I've just been trolled by game publishers...

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Chewieshmoo

Attention game companies! PLEASE stop coming up with bone head tactics and ways to inconvenience/annoy legit consumers and making us jump through hoops to play your games! PIRATES WILL ALWAYS FIND A WAY, that is what they do and whatever method you concoct to defeat this someone smart will eventually work around it. Just focus on making decent games at reasonable prices and everyone will be happy.

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snapple00

The only thing this is doing is giving pirates an excuse to steal.

If normal people don't like it, they don't buy it.

If pirates don't like it, they steal it and come up with an excuse to why it is OK. Just read the posts below. Pirates will steal no matter what.

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aviaggio

Well it gets to a point where pirates will hack it just to prove they can. Which makes the whole system even more of an epic fail.

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linkmaster6

I can see companies going to this for the extra money they can wring out of the end user, but one thing no one seems to pay attention to is the fact that NOT EVERY PERSON HAS HIGHSPEED!!! Instead of ISPs expanding their network to cover everyone they'd rather upgrade their existing. So a business model based on the end user having to continuously pay and downlad chunks of the game just doesn't fly, not at all.

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Markitzero

Nice linkmaster6

I live in a Rural Area in California and all I can get for decent internet is Dial-up and the only Highspeed internet is on my Boost phone and I cant hook it up to my PC for internet so I am stuck on Dial-up until a Cell phone company to plant a 4G tower which is WiMAX. I can't even log into my steam anymore to be online because it can take up to or over 10Min to even come up. If I buy a game it would have to be complete or I would not beable to do it.Verizon does not see my area profitable to update the network were I am so all I can do it Dial-up. Updateing my PS3 would take all night over ICS from another PC connected to my Dial-up ISP NetZero. To do the Web at a decent Speed I have a Squid Proxy Server setup as a Web Cache Server. 

 Satellite internet is iffy and it only allows 17GB permonth on the download channel and less on upload also you can't do ANY real time stuff over Satellite and that is all Games even low data rate needed games like Trackmania and World of Warcraft.

 

My Speedtest: http://www.speedtest.net/result/882121494.png

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linkmaster6

I'm glad (and sorry) to hear its not just in New Brunswick (Canada) that people are being forgotten about for highspeed. There are currently 3 major ISPs on the east coast, Bell, Rogers, and Xplornet. Rogers, is pushing outward in this area but not in areas that really count (off the main routes), Bell is more concerned about beating Rogers in speed in 2 cities!!! And Xplornet is somewhat helpful but the equipment is very limited in bandwidth. The satellite based internet (Hughes and Telesat, Hughes would be the same as I think what you have access to) is sssssoooo illsuited to supplying the bandwidth that people what its not even funny.

Think a few hundred MBs down on the Telesat system and they drop you to below dial up, upload 40-50 MBs same thing and thats only within an hour! On Hughes, higher download limit but u get slowed for 24 hours!

For some areas (like my parents) being at the end of the line on dial up, you're lucky to get a connection of 21-24kbps and maybe if your real damn lucky a download speed of 1-2 kbps.

The fixed wireless internet that xplornet has is alright bit its not near adiquate for an area that is mostly valleys and hills (Appalachian mountain range), the connection relies on a line of sight to the tower.

 

Give a hoot if your in rural and are stuck with dial up!

 


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E-Rich

Where I live in Manitoba there's a 3-4 square mile triangle where all you can get is MTS dial-up. Also there are only 6 families or so that live in this area so no ISP in their right mind would even consider putting any service out here.

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Markitzero

there is a recent stat that about 7 Million Americans does not have access to High-speed internet other then Satellite internet. One satellite company that DirectTV Uses is WildBlue and for the Max speed of 1.5Mbps and 17GB max bandwidth per month for around $80US permonth + $100US for equipment + 2 year contract if you break the contract for the amount of months left you have to play $15US for each. Alot of people out there is eaither ignorant of people stuck on Dial-up or just plain don't care and the rural companies are getting left in the dust by the companies that have High-Speed Internet.The area that I live in is Phelan, CA

 Dial-up were I am maxes out at 46.6Kbps down because of the Phone network. In rural areas I notice the copper phone lines are not maintained and there is alot of interference. 

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Markitzero

there is a recent stat that about 7 Million Americans does not have access to High-speed internet other then Satellite internet. One satellite company that DirectTV Uses is WildBlue and for the Max speed of 1.5Mbps and 17GB max bandwidth per month for around $80US permonth + $100US for equipment + 2 year contract if you break the contract for the amount of months left you have to play $15US for each. Alot of people out there is eaither ignorant of people stuck on Dial-up or just plain don't care and the rural companies are getting left in the dust by the companies that have High-Speed Internet.The area that I live in is Phelan, CA

 Dial-up were I am maxes out at 46.6Kbps down because of the Phone network. In rural areas I notice the copper phone lines are not maintained and there is alot of interference. 

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leetNightshade

Okay. One person in the world buys all of the packages of the game to get the full experience, then gives a hacker access to the complete game they downloaded, and everyone in the world gets to enjoy your game for free.  How do you like the sound of that?  Yeah, sounds like another fail attempt at curbing piracy.  

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JohnP

 Dragon age had a ton of micro payable downloaded transactions. They are all out out on the web somewhere for free.

Yes, this works well for MMOS. blizzard took in hundreds of millions on their little "my little pony" mount. But that was tied to the ACCOUNT, not the game. 

If a gamemaker can force folks to create an exclusive account with them, they are golden.Otherwise, it is a useless attempt.

Don't give up though! Blizzard (and Google) may be the Kong of the game right now, but there is an entire world out there trying to duplicate or surpass their sucess. And someone will, guaranteed.

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Tungil90

Think of Assassins Creed 2 ;) 
There you ARE forced to one Acc., but what happend? The hackers created a server-emulator and you are not longer forced to do anything ;)

so I think everything is crackable and will be cracked! so it doesn't matter what game developers do, the only way I see to stop piracing is really painfull laws... but i dont like this idea^^ 

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Blues22475

When I got to Gamestop to purchase a game, I want the full experience, not this "installments" stuff. If I wanted to pay this off like a loan, I'd go to the loan company and take out a loan.

It works in MMO's because the game makes you want to buy that stuff or wish it. Even still, I never buy the good stuff that requires actual purchase because other users are selling it for in-game currency. I agree with the person who said it doesn't matter if they do this method: hackers will crack the codes they need and distribute free stuff. 

This isn't going to stop hackers. Just as the laws we have established in the real world: it doesn't stop everyone from doing it.

-----------------------------------------
Ignorance is man's greatest enemy.

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