Has Ubisoft Learned its Lesson? Prince of Persia DRM-Free on the PC

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atomaweapon

Unfortuenatly this isn't a game I want to play on a pc. Try it with Far Cry 2. I do applaud ubisoft for giving it a go, but when it doesn't turn out exactly how they planned, who will they blame?

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flyup

Details here on getting Elika off at the Fertile Grounds.

 http://www.cloverspace.com/component/idoblog/viewpost/249.html

 

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dankers

ITT: tl;dr

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Keith E. Whisman

dankers what's that mean?

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I Jedi

I entirely agree with Bloodgain on this one, folks. Fact of the matter is that DRM protection doesn't stop pirating and only suffices to give those who download a torrent of these games a reason to scapegoat their way through paying for the game itself. Game publishers need to stop treating their loyal customers like common criminals and start finding new innovative ways of protecting their games while not fucking their loyal customers over at the same time.

One such innovative way that I like is called Steam. Steam offers something very unique and wonderful when it comes to DRM. When someone purchases a game from Steam, that game is automatically saved to that user’s account and can never be switched up. Therefore eliminating the spread of piracy and protecting Steam’s game publisher’s investments.

I also find Steam a wonderful thing to use because of their way of allowing the end user to download their games over and over again through Steam as many times as they like without ever having to pay additional fees. This allows the user to play his/her Steam based games on any computer at any time without the need for concerns over how many computers the games are saved onto.

Finally, a lot of popular Steam games support mods, etc, which help create a unique and dynamic atmosphere for these video games, as they keep the games interesting and fun for years to come. And lastly, VAC secured protection helps protect users against would be hackers, etc, from online cheating. Although this system is admittedly not always perfect.


I can personally say that I love Steam and have many, many games on it and never ever notice the DRM issue on them, as it never arises as a problem for me. I will continue to buy and use Steam based games for years to come.

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bloodgain

I appreciate that you agree with me, although I'm not sure our posts relate much beyond "DRM doesn't stop pirating".

To reply about Steam, though:
Steam is a distribution mechanism. While Steam may have some DRM in the sense of activation and the much-maligned "offline mode" setting to play games without internet connectivity, Steam still does nothing to stop piracy while making customers' lives harder (see "offline mode").  Name a game on Steam and give me a few minutes, and I can probably find you at least 3 places to dowload it -- probably with 3 separate cracks.

What Steam DOES do is make a large selection of games readily available for download, and often at a small discount.  It does, as you mention, let you redownload on another computer from the same Steam account.  Steam is great in that sense. Don't they even store your saved games online now (haven't tested it myself)? Awesome.

Mods and other features are completely separate from Steam -- they're part of the game's features.  Many boxed games have built-in mod support.  Steam just happens to have a listing of popular mods, sometimes with the ability to download them through Steam.

But what if you're in a place where you have a 25GB download cap, and overages are $5/GB (check out rates in parts of Alaska...)?  Steam doesn't look so good from that angle, nor does any other system that requires you to get online -- even if it's just one time to verify the game.

The bottom line is that no DRM scheme stops pirates, and every DRM scheme makes it at least a little more difficult for paying customers.   The developers/publishers are giving away money by using DRM: they pay for it, they don't stop pirates, and they lose at least some sales over it.  They could put that money in their pockets, and nothing else would change -- except maybe a decrease in disgruntled customers.

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Keith E. Whisman

People are going to pirate software. There simply is no way to stop it. I say just keep making software and games and selling them. People will still purchase games and software. I know it's hard to accept but I suggest that you just spend time going after people that pirate for profit. I mean those people that pirate software and programs and then sell that software. 

Rather than wasting money on DRM and making life suck for people that actually purchase your software why not try to profit from allowing people to get the full use of your products.

 

Rather than make it impossible to copy movies and music you should try to sell media players that just kick ass. Sell software that allows people to manipulate your movies and music.

Make software and games that is expandable. Think of new ways you can make a product that will effect the user in ways that has not been considered before. Make it worth the price of admission. People will still pirate it but you can't get the full use and the full benefit of the product without getting online and showing to the world that you are using a pirated version that will not be allowed to expand.

What I mean is sure you may be able to play Doom 8 all the way through but you wont be able to play online. You won't be able to download and install online maps and other confections.

So that is how you will still be able to turn a profit without DRM.

 

You buy your game and with your game you get a license that gives you full access to everything else. Without that license all you get is the off line game.  

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s3th

Well on the last quote, the Steam platform which offers many of our Source games today, including thousands of others. A simple Key generator which usually comes with most Pirated games are not to be mislead, but are actually very powerful, and yes your right many pirated games only offer the single player features which is usually enough for some, but then some they need both multi-player and single player campaigns. I'm bringing this up because a key gen gives you a key to a steam game you pirated, if you enter this CD Key into the "Activate A Steam Game" area and it submits, you then have a free copy of the full game just by a minor slip through in the system. Thus it allowing you to officially own the game as if you had bought it, and you're able to download the content using just a very core correct key generator. I've seen this done recently with games like CS 1.6 CS: Source, L4D, and etc.

Though I may be wrong, Im not sure this is 100% correct, please feel free to prove me wrong, Im curious to know if its possible with all games that our ran through Steam?

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Keith E. Whisman

Generally Game CD Keys that come with games are registered and stored on servers as legitimate keys. So when you have a game and use a keygen it may work to install the game because the game recognizes the entered key sequence mathmatically as a key that the company uses. There are probably millions of possible keys that will work but only those that are sold with a game and stored on servers are actually capable of being used to gain online access.  The Keygen will allow the installation of the game but it's just sure luck to get a legit key from a keygen because of the shear millions of possible combinations compared to the limited numbers that are actually made and shipped with the game. So you see it's like playing keno. Lets say Epic games produces a game and ships 5 million copies with 5 million CD keys. Epic then stores those CD keys on it's servers. Now lets look at the CD keys. There maybe 100million possible key combinations that unlock and allow installation of the game. The keygen makes one of these keys but the liklihood of this key being one of the 5 million is very small.  If you get a good key then I would say go out and play the lottery also be carefull of lightning. 

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bloodgain

This "experiment" has no value in determining whether or not DRM does anything to combat piracy.  That would require long-term statistical studies over long periods of time where both DRM-laden and non-DRM-laden games were sold at the same time.  This would have to consider genres, developers, previous sales, game budget, and many more factors for equality in the data gathered.  There may be enough data out there right now to find correlations, but I doubt anything conclusive can be discovered.

First and foremost, what if Prince of Persia is merely mediocre?  Will they compare its sales to a completely unrelated blockbuster game?  How about PC-exclusivity?  PoP is available on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC (a full week earlier on the consoles).  I'm sure some people will prefer PoP on consoles, given the type of game it is -- even if I played it on PC, I'd use a controller.  All these things will affect how well PoP sells on PC, not to mention whether or not there are bugs in the PC version that don't affect the consoles.

The only good metric will probably be sales vs. piracy across this and several other games, both PC-exclusive and cross-platform.  Even then, good data on how much piracy takes place is hard to come by, especially since DRM really only serves to reduce "disk borrowing" casual piracy by people who don't know how to get around the DRM.  Chances are, those people probably won't even be aware they could share the game disc any more than they could with Far Cry 2.

Common sense and looking at the fact that DRM-laden games are often available online BEFORE they are available in stores simply proves that DRM does not work to stop piracy. It's not a matter of "better safe than sorry" -- it's a matter of wasting development/publishing budget on DRM that will obviously not work.

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thegamepro

I give Ubisoft credit for trying something new and maybe actually are doing this to prevent the 1 star amazon bombing but I have a feeling that it might not help prevent piracy because 1) DRM (in my opinion) is just an excuse for the pirates to justify their illegal acts 2) Well it becomes very easy for casual piracy to take place such as lending the game to a friend to install on their pc and just giving it back to you.

Despite that, because this game won't be getting 1 star reviews, maybe the amazon sales will increase and maybe they will sell more copies anyway.  I wish them luck and give them credit for giving the pc a fair chance to see if that will stop people from piracy. 

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dankers

Piracy existed before DRM. DRM hasn't stopped piracy. What else do you need to know. Taking it out won't mean anything to anyone, although I do salute them for thinking outside the box, and for delivering a decent game!

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Shadowcaster

here here

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brainwins

I feel like this is a huge moment for PC gaming. I am really curious on how both parts are gonna react. The potential pirates and the publishers.

My bet is that the game will be pirated on equal measure than a DRM one. So what would Ubisoft do?

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chronium

My bet is that the game will be pirated on equal measure than a DRM one. So what would Ubisoft do?

I agree that is most likely going to happen and Im sure they will just use it as a excuse to continue the use of DRM and possibly the use of a more stricter form of DRM as well.

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