Valve's Gabe Newell: "Most DRM Strategies Are Just Dumb"

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fsm1000

After playing games since my 286 and 386, I was seriously considering stopping because of how onerous the DRM was getting. Nice to see someone actually gives a sheeet about the customer FOR A CHNAGE.

 

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ghot

The main problem in the gaming industry is that noone is writing decent games anymore....it seems that in comes in phases, about every 6-8 years.   Trulu original game comes out from a no-name company and is fantastic.  The company that makes the game makes one or tww more great games then...it all goes to crap.

ZORK......Doom I & II........Planescape Torment, Diablo II, Icewind dale, Baldurs Gate..............????????

Sure you can count numbers and say WoW is great...it isn't...theres just more people with comps now.

The good old CD key worked fine...there was never a need for DRM.  The reason people pirate is because it's just not worth $50 for a peice of crap game.  You write a great game the price won't matter, even to those that might normally pirate.  Consoles...waste of money...period!  It's like buying a whole new computer every two years.  The desktop is the way to go...because you can buy it in bits.

Seems like all anyone writes now is FPS retakes on same old story.  No wonder people pirate.  Who's going to pay 50$ a pop for a tiny FPS that you KNOW won't be complete till you buy 2-4 expansions.  

The industry is mistaking the sales numbers badly.....more of the world has access to both computer and internet, so of course more games will sell.  That doesn't mean its a better game....lol

 

A good game= an RPG that has 300 hours of single play, multiplayer, a great story, deep involvement.

Oh wow  yeat another GTAx or CODx  how fast can I move my finger....thinking games that take a long time are what makes a good game.

 

ZORK ...text only  ...great game

Doom I & II 2D graphics (sort of) loooooooooong playtime...bang for the buck!

Planescape, Icewind Dale, Baldurs Gate, Diablo II  great games all.

 

Experimenting on the end user with hardly finished games is what causes pirates.  The game I mentioned above....just worked right the first time.  They were original, had endless replayability, good stories or both.

Some other GREAT games....UNREAL (not tournament), Quake I (only), 4x4 Evolution, MS Combat Flight Simulator the WWII one, NOX, Revenant......I haven't seen much else worth the time.

I will admit that Mario and Zelda  (the orginals) we're great also.

The industry doesn't want pirates...then start makin good games again. Simple as that.

Sure Oblivion, Witcher, Bioshock, Mass Effect, Grid, Homeworld, etc we're ok, but they were all broken at release...THAT'S what causes pirates..pissed off people out $50 for an unfinished retread.

 

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GreenTurtle

 I couldn't have said it better myself. All of the Baldur's gate and Icewind dale......still playing them because I haven't found anything better yet.

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samduhman

 

When you buy a single player game and cannot play/install it without internet connection then thats horrible DRM. 

Also try playing a Valve game at a LAN party without internet connection and see how far you get, that would be no where! Everyone is expected remember to put their game in offline mode before disconnecting from their home network. <rolls eyes>

 

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marudd2002

 So let me get this straight. You're surprised that an Internet based download service that sells, updates, etc your games all through their internet based client requires you to be connected to the internet of all things just to play one of their games or a game you bought from them? Umm....okay. I'm not surprised. Not quite sure why you are.

I also do not feel like Valve treats it's customers like pirates. I think they are just protecting their assets while at the same time trying to provide a simple, non-intrusive, straightforward way to verify that the game you're playing really does belong to you. That's like claiming that Best Buy thinks every single one of their customers is a thief because they installed security cameras in their stores.

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Fanboys are annoying. Price/Performance is top priority. Patience=Awesome.

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Joseph_Blow

Nah, Best Buy shows us that they think we're all crooks by having people check our receipts on the way out the door.  Even if you're the only person in the whole store, and the guy by the door is watching you the whole time you're paying, he still needs to check your receipt and your purchases to make sure you didn't steal anything :(

 

 

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jcollins

The best buys in my area don't check receipts.  Fry's Electronics on the other hand...

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dankers

I bought my HL2 retail, not through Steam, so why should I have to activate it? In any case I tried to install Steam after my previous comment here and it refused to install, saying it was missing some library. Also, Rockstar saying their DRM method approach is less intrusive is quite a joke, it wont run without some community thingy running at all times, even when you want to play offline. Fallout 3 didn't have any DRM that I noticed (maybe it had some but it wasn't noticeable to me) and as far as I'm aware it's been the highest selling game this season. Despite all those pirated copies...

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shellpc

The only thing Steam needs running is the client itself as that is how it authenticates your account and games. Steam Community is entirely optional, you don't have to use it if you don't want to. If you're talking about the game overlay or the instant messaging client, you can turn those off in the options. You do have offline mode you can use after you've verified your account at least once and I agree it still needs work as it doesn't work 100% of the time.

 

Valve has chosen to use Steam as their drm for their games. They don't use any other forms of drm(for their own games), such as SecuROM or Starforce and I'd rather have their solution than those other two. If you don't like it, you have a choice not to buy their games.

 Oh, and Fallout 3 is also available on Steam.

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marudd2002

 @ shellpc

When dankers said "...it wont run without some community thingy running at all times..." he meant the Rockstar Social Club which is required to be running to launch GTA IV from within it. If you didn't get this game from Steam the RSSC is probably not that huge of a pain, BUT for anyone (like myself) who bought and tried to play GTA IV through Steam, it becomes a headache very quickly.

If I want to play GTA IV, Steam has to be running. When I click on Launch for GTA IV it doesn't launch GTA IV at all. It launches the RSSC. From there I have to click PLAY, which only works when I'm logged out of the Social Club, which negates the entire reasoning for having it.

Side Note: It doesn't even matter to me if Rockstar, Steam, or GFW make drastic and amazing fixes to this game and/or it's surrounding services by tomorrow. I am so completely offended by Rockstar North Games, Take-Two Interactive and any other affiliates that I am choosing to not only get a full refund for GTA IV and never play it EVER, but I am also choosing to never purchase a Take-Two or Rockstar game EVER again. That's how bad you screwed this pooch!

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Fanboys are annoying. Price/Performance is top priority. Patience=Awesome.

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rhill

 I have used Steam for years and purchased programs thru them. I change computers and operatiing system

oven so it was nice to log on to Steam and get access to all my games. When farcry2 was offered early for

$5.00 off I purchased it (I had played farcry 1) They didn't mension about the DRM. About a week later I had

a crash and had to reload Vista 64 from a True image. When I tried to load Far Cry 2 they refused to activate

it saying I had exceeded my activation limit. Steam could have check that I hadn't downloaded it 5 times but

they wouldn't. SecuRom downloads a rootkit into your computer which apparently can't count. They said I should have run a revoke program (which Steam did not provide) before the crash.Even though Steam had taken my money they refused to help me saying They could do nothing about SecuRom.

I have only played on the game I purchased for about 20 minutes. In the future I will not purchase any games

with SecuRom or any games that requires me to got thru Steam. What a way to treat your customers.

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bloodgain

If there was ever a justified reason to go download a pirate/DRM-free copy of a game, this is it.  You paid good money for the game and didn't do anything wrong -- you have a right to access what you payed for.  There's a gray area about the fact that if you used BitTorrent, you'd be redistributing pieces of the game to other people, but I'm not sure I'd care if I felt like I'd been ripped off like that.

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shellpc

Thats more the publisher's fault than Valve's though. Some of them can't get it through their thick heads they shouldn't include extra DRM on top of what Steam already offers. Valve can refuse to sell such a game, but then their catalog would be alot smaller.

 To the guy below complaining about forced patches on dial up - Right click the game, choose properties and set it to never update. Yes, you still have to suffer through an initial patch when you first install, which is annoying if you're stuck in the stone age of dialup,  but you won't ever have to update it again for single player games and you only have to suffer through it once per game.

 

Steam has improved dramatically since the early Half Life 2 days. Still some things that don't quite work the way they should (extra drm for some games, offline mode, for instance), but its much better than it used to be and it is getting better.

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knexkid

Yes, I am aware that pretty much no one has dial up anymore (especially if you are on this website).  But I myself live in das boonies, with no high speed.  Luckily over the summer, we splurged for satelite internet (THANK GOD!!! BUT DAMN LARGE AMOUNTS OF $$$$).  But before then, steam was impossilbe to deal with.  It would take FOREVER to launch.  Updates took several nights on end, and this was just to play Half Life, the single player game.  Sure I love it, but offline mode is pretty broken (for whatever reason, Counter Stirke Source refuses to launch in offline mode.....yes I play with the bots [Satelite internet doesn't work with games]).  Without a form of highspeed internet, Steam is a nightmare, even for single player games. 

Bioshock did this to me as well when I had dial up.  Before it would finish installing, I HAD to update it with the lastest patch (took all night to download).  I don't have a problem activating over the internet, or being online for ONLINE games, but singleplayer games like bioshock and half life should still be dial up friendly, because those are the games that will actract those people.

 Out of curiosity, is there anyone out there with dial up?

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hogkill

Have you checked for radio modem access yet?  I used to be stuck without anything but dial up, until 2 years ago.  I'm from Canada so I don't know what companies offer it in the U.S., but here both Bell and Rogers offer "portable internet", which is essentially a portable modem that connects to cellphone towers and gives you the equivalent to low/mid "high-speed" bandwidth.  I went with rogers because it doesnt punish you as badly with monthly caps, even though it offers a slightly slower speed than Bell's.

I also managed to get an external "cottage" version of the modem, which is drilled into the side of my house.  The downside is, my nearest tower is 10km away which is the max rated range, so during shitty weather, and for certain periods in the summer, it doesn't work well, or i have to climb out on the roof and move it around a bit.

Still its awesome being able to have real internet access at home.  Its also better than satellite becaue the ping is descen, and it's not nearly as expensive.  Try to see if u can get it in your area, whether or not its available usually depends on the location of your nearest cellphone tower.

P.S.  marudd2002 is a jackass. U don't know what it's like to live in a rural area so kindly STFU.

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winmaster

I do sympathize you for being stuck with dial-up (or even satellite, which is the most expensive internet I know of and still isn't that fast.) I just got high speed (ah-hem, semi-high speed, 256 K) this summer. Before that, I was stuck with dial-up. The reason? I'm not 18, therefore my parents tell me where to live, which happened to be out in the middle of fucking nowhere where 50kbps was a damn good connection. Then finally centurytel quit smoking pot and ran a DSL line out to my house. The moral of the story, some people are just plain stuck with dial-up. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't use common sense. I never downloaded any file over 50 MB (5 hours with the phone line in use by my computer). I had to have my uncle download the network distribution package of Service Pack 3 for XP. Asking Steam to be dial-up compatible is like asking Crysis to run on my on my Pentium III. It's just plain stupid. I can see how having to patch a game during the install would be bad. Even the Java installer, which downloads about 20 MB of data during install, was a real pain on dial-up. So anyway, my point is, while I sympathize you for being stuck with slow internet, use your head and don't use steam. (Or download Linux, Open Office, or large patches that may be necessary for the software in which they patch to work.

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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

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marudd2002

 Asking a service like Steam to be "dial-up friendly" is like asking the smartest student in the class to partner with the dumbest student in the class, making the dumb kid do all the work, and still hoping the smart kid gets an A+. It's just stupid.

Steam is a current generation platform (client) which was created in some part because of high speed internet. Let's not make everyone else's Steam service retarded just because you choose to live in the boonies.

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Fanboys are annoying. Price/Performance is top priority. Patience=Awesome.

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Vegan

If I were living in a place that only offered dial-up, I would seriously move. Hell, I have 10Mb/s cable and I'm almost ready to move for Fios.

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maniacm0nk3y

best

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chronium

"Valve, whose Steam platform once coated games in a jawbreaker-esque, nigh-impenetrable DRM shell"

I laughed at this comment, steam was cracked the day it came out with Half Life 2

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dankers

I bought and paid for Half-Life 2 the day it came out. Sadly back in those days I had no internet connection. I actually called Valve and spoke to some Indian guy trying to get them to override it. Since then I have yet to buy a game with either Steam or from Valve. To their defense it does say on the package that an internet connection is required, I just thought it was funny that the game was all about overlods dictating our very existence, yet on the other hand that game made you call home to big brother to check in.

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AndyYankee17

it's a lot like gun control, on the surface it looks good but you spend 5 seconds studying it and you realize it's just bad.

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winmaster

Gun control laws sound good, but if someone has the intention of using a gun to break the law, are they really going to care about a law that simply says they can't conceal their weapon. Hell no. It will only stop righteous people from being able to carry self-defense. Likewise, are pirates going to let DRM stop them. Again, the answer is no. All DRM does is limit righteous people's fair use rights and stop me from copying music to my Plays For Sure mp3 player after upgrading the processor in my computer. (Although, that's also partly Microsoft's fault. iTunes would have gladly transfered my music to an iPod.) DOWN WITH DRM!

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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

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KillerB

Just like gun control all DRM does is punish the law-abiding citizen and does nothing to prevent "criminals" from getting the game for free. Lets face it if DRM worked then there would be no piracy.

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Edwincnelson

I try to buy as many games from Steam as possible as I really believe that being able play your games anywhere you can use the Steam client could curb the piracy issue. However, their prices are still high, and despite not being able to activate the game without the Steam client I still was greeted to a steaming pile of DRM with my purcheses of Clear Sky and FarCry 2! What is up with that? Why is this extra layer of protection necessary?