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Stardock are developing their own non-intrusive DRM.

DubloSeven

Member
Jan 6, 2008
1,107
0
0
Perth, Australia
DRM/Security - whatever, it's the same thing.

Stardock's Copyright Security Solution

On Friday, Stardock CEO Brad Wardell revealed to Edge that his company is developing a non-intrusive copyright security solution for external publishers.

The initiative came in the wake of The Gamer's Bill of Rights, which implores game makers to ditch obnoxious copy protection methods. Stardock has been an advocate of non-intrusive copy protection for years, selling commercially successful games such as Galactic Civilizations and Sins of a Solar Empire that have no copy protection.

But as Stardock approached major publishers to agree to the terms of the Bill, they were still unwilling to go DRM-free.

Wardell said, "While Stardock doesn't put copy protection on its retail games, the fact is that most publishers are never going to agree to do that.

"So the publishers are telling us, 'Put your money where your mouth is. Why don't you guys develop something that you think is suitable that would protect our IP, but would be more acceptable to users?'

"We're investigating what would make users happy to protect their needs, but also provide some security for the publishers. ... We're actually developing a technology that would do that."

Wardell didn't divulge which piracy-fearing publishers had suggested Stardock take on the task.

He did say that one goal of Stardock's security solution would be when a consumer buys a PC game, that game, or technically the license to play it, belongs to the consumer. Often, DRM methods only allow a certain amount of installs on a certain amount of machines. "We want that license to be yours, not per machine. ... It's not your machine buying the game. It's you."

Wardell said he's exploring a system in which if a customer loses the physical copy of a game, he or she would be able to re-download the game by simply matching up a previously-registered e-mail address. "If my license is attached to my [e-mail] account, let me go online and download the whole game later."

Wardell argued that if a publisher wants a user to jump through a security hoop, that user should get something in return.

He steered away from the idea that Stardock is developing a DRM solution (presumably because of the baggage the term carries with gamers). Asked if Stardock is creating a method of "DRM," Wardell replied, "The problem with 'DRM' is that it's so loosely defined. ... Stardock's products use activation, and I wouldn't say that it's DRM. We're just verifying if you're real customer."

The CEO said that Stardock has looked to its community to ask what kind of security measures are acceptable and which ones are not. "It should be completely invisible to the user."

DRM has been a hot topic as of late, the most recent case being EA's highly-anticipated PC game Spore, which implemented protection technology from SecuROM. One customer filed a class-action lawsuit against EA over the game's DRM.

Despite Wardell's distaste for intrusive DRM, he said that filing a lawsuit is going a bit overboard. "Publishers should have the right to be stupid if they want. That's their right. And it's the right of the consumer to choose not to buy."

He vouched for the huge faceless corporations that sometimes seem to be oblivious to the plight of the DRM-afflicted gamer.

"It's not that these publishers are DRM-happy. They're not completely in love with it. It's just that there aren't very many alternatives."

http://www.edge-online.com/features/stardocks-copyright-security-solution

I don't even know why they'd bother. The thing will be cracked as soon as it's released anyhow.


Still, it will be interesting to see what Stardock come up with.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
17,232
3
0
The entire premise is dumb.

DRM does not stop or slow down piracy.
DRM does punish legit users while not stopping or slowing down piracy.

A DRM that is less obtrusive to users will STILL not stop or slow down piracy, and it will still punish legit users, just to a lesser degree. I guess I'm for replacing more restrictive DRM with less restrictive DRM, but the end result is the same--DRM is designed to stop piracy, and it does not.

People who argue that DRM stops day one or week one piracy don't get it. I refuse to believe that there's a large portion of people who, at day one, say "Well if I can pirate this today, I'll pirate it. If not, I'll buy this game full price. I don't care if the game is cracked tomorrow, I NEED IT TODAY!!!!". Someone who is going to pirate a game day one is going to be willing to wait for a crack to come out a few weeks later.

I don't think it matters who is right, who is wrong, or who has what rights to do what. I don't think the Gamer's Bill of Rights really impacts the issue. On a simple, practical level DRM does not solve the problem it is designed to solve. The only DRM that does work is server-side content DRM like what is used in MMOs, and even that is vulnerable to reverse engineering servers.
 

charlequin

Banned
Oct 19, 2005
26,635
1
1,405
Stardock continues to be awesome. While they've already put their money where their mouth is quite effectively on their own titles, going the extra mile to help other publishers dial down their own DRM use is even better.

Ideally, companies will switch to something like this, see their sales stay the same while complaints drop to zero, and start to slowly but surely get the picture that they live in the 21st century and that SecuROM and StarForce are cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Stumpokapow said:
A DRM that is less obtrusive to users will STILL not stop or slow down piracy, and it will still punish legit users, just to a lesser degree.

Well, StarDock clearly understand that, since they're continuing to go DRM-free on their own titles. Since I don't expect publishers like EA will go from monstrous garbage like SecuROM to zero in one step, anything that encourages them to learn that their DRM obsession is foolish in small steps seems like a win to me.
 

dLMN8R

Member
Dec 14, 2007
11,578
0
880
Stumpokapow said:
The entire premise is dumb.

DRM does not stop or slow down piracy.
DRM does punish legit users while not stopping or slowing down piracy.

*clip*
Actually, DRM does indeed help curb piracy. Look at implementations like Valve's games on Steam and those that use Steamworks - it is 100% impossible for anyone to pirate a game before its release. Pieces of data are held back on the Steam servers until release, and the rest is heavily encrypted beyond any form of cracking.

Similar to Crysis Warhead - the game required activation, and there wasn't a single pirated copy of the game until after release.


Yes, eventually all forms of DRM will be cracked, but by stopping zero-day piracy like this, it is a huge help.
 

miyamotofreak

Banned
Mar 14, 2007
2,552
0
0
dLMN8R said:
Actually, DRM does indeed help curb piracy. Look at implementations like Valve's games on Steam and those that use Steamworks - it is 100% impossible for anyone to pirate a game before its release. Pieces of data are held back on the Steam servers until release, and the rest is heavily encrypted beyond any form of cracking.

Similar to Crysis Warhead - the game required activation, and there wasn't a single pirated copy of the game until after release.


Yes, eventually all forms of DRM will be cracked, but by stopping zero-day piracy like this, it is a huge help.
Yes! This man gets it. As long as the DRM isn't intrusive or prevents me from anything I'd normally do then I'm okay with it.
 

larvi

Member
Jul 6, 2007
3,569
0
0
Misleading title, had a heart failure for a second that Stardock was adding DRM to thier games. Personally I won't buy any game that requires online activation or authorization to install or play no matter how transparent it is to me. There's just no assurance that it will work in the future when the publishes no longer exists.
 

itxaka

Defeatist
Feb 21, 2007
11,442
0
1,165
Bioshock
Stumpokapow said:
I refuse to believe that there's a large portion of people who, at day one, say "Well if I can pirate this today, I'll pirate it. If not, I'll buy this game full price. I don't care if the game is cracked tomorrow, I NEED IT TODAY!!!!".


Welcome to spain, the only place in the world where you grow your E-peen shouting how many games do you have pirated and get extra kudos if you get something 3 weeks before it releases.

Seriously, there are hundreds of people like that out there. I know people that were bragginf about getting "Visual encore instruments 3D surround with 3dmax integration in your ass" 3 weeks before release, and they were almost shouting "IT COST ABOUT 3 MILLIONS" and they don't even know what it was for.
 

Htown

STOP SHITTING ON MY MOTHER'S HEADSTONE
Feb 19, 2008
44,007
6
0
larvi said:
Misleading title, had a heart failure for a second that Stardock was adding DRM to thier games. Personally I won't buy any game that requires online activation or authorization to install or play no matter how transparent it is to me. There's just no assurance that it will work in the future when the publishes no longer exists.
See, to me it just seems more likely that I'll lose a disc and/or CD key than that Valve or Stardock or <insert publisher here> will suddenly go out of business.
 

SapientWolf

Trucker Sexologist
Jul 4, 2004
35,734
0
0
dLMN8R said:
Actually, DRM does indeed help curb piracy. Look at implementations like Valve's games on Steam and those that use Steamworks - it is 100% impossible for anyone to pirate a game before its release. Pieces of data are held back on the Steam servers until release, and the rest is heavily encrypted beyond any form of cracking.

Similar to Crysis Warhead - the game required activation, and there wasn't a single pirated copy of the game until after release.


Yes, eventually all forms of DRM will be cracked, but by stopping zero-day piracy like this, it is a huge help.
It's going to be kind of funny if the Xbox 360 version of Left 4 Dead gets leaked early and the PC version doesn't. Kevin Cloud would pretty much look like a tool (OMG Piracy is killing PC gaming!) Personally, I think the failure to innovate and adapt to new market opportunities is what is really killing PC gaming, and Valve has already been addressing that problem.
 

Rufus

Member
Sep 8, 2006
7,634
0
0
itxaka said:
Seriously, there are hundreds of people like that out there. I know people that were bragginf about getting "Visual encore instruments 3D surround with 3dmax integration in your ass" 3 weeks before release, and they were almost shouting "IT COST ABOUT 3 MILLIONS" and they don't even know what it was for.
The really funny thing: These people are seen as 'potential buyers'. All of them. And that's filed as 'damages' and 'lost sales'. Nobody will admit, ever, that most people couldn't have afforded to buy every single game they pirate. Or just wouldn't WANT to. Every single company is assuming that it's their game they would have bought, but that's just impossible. Same with music, films and software.
My backlog has grown to epic proportions, I don't know if I'll ever have the time to play all these games. It only grew that big because I could (or had to in many cases) buy them used. I can't imagine that someone with a 1TB hard drive full of free shit is going to even install all of it, much less buy it legitimately.

Stumpokapow said:
Couldn't agree more.
 

CTLance

Member
Jul 21, 2007
11,844
0
0
Bavaria, Germany
Nooooo, not you too, Stardock! I believed in you!
Noooooooooooo!

:mad:

Well fuck this. I'm giving back my Stardock fan badge. What a bummer.

I am seriously disappointed. They were one of the good guys. Now they're just one of many. DRM is always unacceptable. Always.
 

Teknopathetic

Member
Jun 6, 2004
24,114
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"Wardell said, "While Stardock doesn't put copy protection on its retail games, the fact is that most publishers are never going to agree to do that.
"So the publishers are telling us, 'Put your money where your mouth is. Why don't you guys develop something that you think is suitable that would protect our IP, but would be more acceptable to users?'"


Read.
 

probune

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Jan 14, 2007
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0
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www.bgmedina.com
CTLance said:
Nooooo, not you too, Stardock! I believed in you!
Noooooooooooo!

:mad:

Well fuck this. I'm giving back my Stardock fan badge. What a bummer.

I am seriously disappointed. They were one of the good guys. Now they're just one of many. DRM is always unacceptable. Always.

Maybe you should read the part where this is just to please external publishers since Stardock isn't going to use it on its own products
 

CTLance

Member
Jul 21, 2007
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0
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I know. I don't care if they don't use it themselves for now. They've become tainted. How long until the DRM becomes a core part of Impulse? It's bound to happen. How else are they gonna realize the premise? Even if they don't do that, who is gonna check?

I like the guys, I really do, but DRM is infectuous, and they've allowed it into their system.
Rule #1: Don't trust anyone peddling DRM. I don't care what they say, it's what they do that scares me.

As I said, I've turned in my blind fanboy badge. I still like them quite a lot, but this news has put one hell of a stop to my attitude of "anything with Stardock on the label is safe to use". Because soon it won't be like that. I don't care how much they sugarcoat it, and how much they're bound by external factors. It's a binary thing. Either there's DRM under the Stardock label, or there isn't. Now there will be. Easy as that.
 

NeoXDeath

Banned
Sep 6, 2007
246
0
0
Chicago
Wouldn't it just be simplest if they made it so you can't rip the files off the CD and can't install it on your computer? That way you don't have to worry about most of that DRM shit and the ONLY thing that takes a hit is loading times. But of course a nice, easy solution like that would be completely and totally vocally and violently rejected by you idiotic PC faggots.
 

CTLance

Member
Jul 21, 2007
11,844
0
0
Bavaria, Germany
NeoXDeath said:
Wouldn't it just be simplest if they made it so you can't rip the files off the CD and can't install it on your computer? That way you don't have to worry about most of that DRM shit and the ONLY thing that takes a hit is loading times. But of course a nice, easy solution like that would be completely and totally vocally and violently rejected by you idiotic PC faggots.
Errrr... I know I've probably overreacted, but you easily top my reaction. Edit: Oooooh, account suicide. Srsly u guyze.
 

charlequin

Banned
Oct 19, 2005
26,635
1
1,405
itxaka said:
Welcome to spain, the only place in the world where you grow your E-peen shouting how many games do you have pirated and get extra kudos if you get something 3 weeks before it releases.

That pretty much proves stump's point. None of those people are going to buy the game.

CTLance said:
I know. I don't care if they don't use it themselves for now. They've become tainted. How long until the DRM becomes a core part of Impulse?

Jesus. It's chicken little "fans" like you that make it harder for companies to take reasonable steps to make things better in the industry.

If you're against DRM, you don't think that the industry would be better off if Stardock continued to use none on their own games, but five other publishers switched from something horrible like SecuROM to whatever solution Stardock is putting together? Don't you have the ability to extend some tiny, insignificant smidgen of trust to Stardock on the back of the way they've continued to never use DRM until now (and that this move is intended to help other companies see why intrusive DRM is bad) instead of running around with your head cut off?
 

zoku88

Member
Dec 25, 2006
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32
Why would anyone care about non-intrusive DRM if it doesn't make you do anything (hence the name.)
 

Draft

Member
Mar 30, 2005
18,402
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zoku88 said:
Why would anyone care about non-intrusive DRM if it doesn't make you do anything (hence the name.)
Principal.

But unfortunately, we live in a world of reality, not principals.

DRM barely works. When it does work, it does in a way to usually irritates legitimate users in some way. But, publishers are deathly afraid of piracy, and no DD service that's DRM free is going to find any kind of traction with new, high budget games. It's simply not going to happen.

Look at GOG.com. They're selling 15 year old games that probably aren't even available in stores anymore, and bone simple to pirate because of small file sizes and being released before the advent of copy protection. And they still have tons of trouble getting publishers to sign on.

Bottom line is that game publishers are big, stupid animals, and they must be placated. Steam DRM placates them. It also has never given me so much as a hint of trouble. So Steam DRM is fine. If Stardock DRM is the same as Steam DRM, I can live with that.
 

Doytch

Member
Oct 8, 2006
14,597
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dLMN8R said:
Actually, DRM does indeed help curb piracy. Look at implementations like Valve's games on Steam and those that use Steamworks - it is 100% impossible for anyone to pirate a game before its release. Pieces of data are held back on the Steam servers until release, and the rest is heavily encrypted beyond any form of cracking.

That has nothing to do with DRM. What that does is eliminate pre-launch leaks. Like when you send your gold master to the printing plant, and one dude pockets a DVD and leaks it online. That's what causes day-one (or even pre-release) cracks/pirated copies. And of course you won't get any of those if the whole set of binaries only exists on your servers...

Steam's DRM doesn't actually stop cracking. It has been cracked, and you can download cracked versions of say, Orange Box.
 

zoku88

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Dec 25, 2006
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Zedsdeadbaby said:
Non-intrusive DRM? That's almost like an oxymoron.
Steam is pretty close to being non-intrusive, if you count having to manually switch to to offline mode to play games offline to be intrusive.
 
Jun 6, 2004
68,817
0
1,570
dLMN8R said:
Actually, DRM does indeed help curb piracy. Look at implementations like Valve's games on Steam and those that use Steamworks - it is 100% impossible for anyone to pirate a game before its release. Pieces of data are held back on the Steam servers until release, and the rest is heavily encrypted beyond any form of cracking.

Similar to Crysis Warhead - the game required activation, and there wasn't a single pirated copy of the game until after release.


Yes, eventually all forms of DRM will be cracked, but by stopping zero-day piracy like this, it is a huge help.
activation also stops people who bought the game early from playing it. it also stops 'that guy with a cabin in the woods with no internet connection' from playing bioshock...

not that i actually believe the latter affects very many people, but some people sure claim it affects them.
 

loosus

Banned
May 31, 2006
6,580
0
0
What exactly bothers you guys about DRM if it doesn't limit you in any crazy way?

I mean, does it bother you that you CAN'T make ten copies for all your friends or install it on all your friends' computers? Or what? Because if that's the case, then fucking get used to it. That sorta shit hurts companies almost as much as full-blown, intentional piracy.
 

Stitch

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Nov 26, 2006
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SapientWolf said:
It's going to be kind of funny if the Xbox 360 version of Left 4 Dead gets leaked early and the PC version doesn't.
Oh i'm sure it will. 360 games always get leaked several days or even weeks before they hit stores.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
17,232
3
0
dLMN8R said:
Actually, DRM does indeed help curb piracy. Look at implementations like Valve's games on Steam and those that use Steamworks - it is 100% impossible for anyone to pirate a game before its release. Pieces of data are held back on the Steam servers until release, and the rest is heavily encrypted beyond any form of cracking.

Similar to Crysis Warhead - the game required activation, and there wasn't a single pirated copy of the game until after release.

I'll present to you two scenarios, you tell me which one is more plausible:

Scenario A
<Prospective Pirate> I'm really looking forward to Crysis Warhead, which comes out today!
<Prospective Pirate> Time to pirate it!
<Prospective Pirate> Oh noz, it's not on SLIPPERYTITWAREZ.COM!!!
<Prospective Pirate> Well, time to pay full price for it!

or

Scenario B
<Prospective Pirate> I'm really looking forward to Crysis Warhead, which comes out today!
<Prospective Pirate> Time to pirate it!
<Prospective Pirate> Oh noz, it's not on SLIPPERYTITWAREZ.COM!!!
<Prospective Pirate> Fuck this game.
... two weeks later..
<Prospective Pirate> Awwww fuck yeah, pImPgAmRz cracked Crysis Warhead! Time to get my game on!

If you think it's the first, you're nuts.

If you divide pirates into hardcore pirates (who will never buy anything ever ever ever ever, even if it's $1 and comes with an action figure and a cloth map) and casual pirates (people who pirate for convenience / "to try it out" / etc), you'll see how no one is dissuaded by DRM.

Hardcore pirates are not potential sales. If the game isn't cracked, they won't play it. They're never going to buy the game. Casual pirates might be willing to buy the game if they can't find it to pirate, but they're ALSO not likely to be the sort of people who are so keenly attuned to the game's release that they've got to have it day one.

I guess if DRM could prevent a game being cracked for a year it'd be a pretty big deal, but if it's just delaying a game's release a week, two weeks? Is this really succeeding in deterring any reasonable portion of piracy?

The Faceless Master said:
it also stops 'that guy with a cabin in the woods with no internet connection' from playing bioshock... not that i actually believe the latter affects very many people, but some people sure claim it affects them.

But if the people complaining were really pirates, wouldn't they just shut up for a week and download the activation crack? Pirates don't deal with activation, period.
 

Sqorgar

Banned
Nov 13, 2006
2,813
0
0
www.squidi.net
The problem with DRM is that once a particular type has cracked, it becomes easier and easier for future programs using that type to be cracked. For instance, once the ability to bypass cd checks has been figured out, future cd checks (no matter how ingenious) will be cracked even faster. Therefore, the only games that actually benefit from DRM are the first couple to come out with it. This means that DRM creators must continually move forward to more intrusive and draconian methods - that's the only place left to go. So DRM is going to get a lot worse for the consumer, not better, until the point at which all content is delivered digitally (and Steam is neat and all, but Valve's anti-Mac policy makes me think they shouldn't be the torch holder for gaming's digital downloads, especially with Mac marketplace share in double digits now).

In my opinion, Stardock might be onto something. What they are offering is not just DRM, but also features for the end user that might have value. Having additional security (for the user, not just the company) and customer service could make minor DRM something worth putting up with. It's kind of like how Infocom used to package all those "feelies" with their games. Give the players something of value that they can't get from piracy.
 

Darklord

Banned
Oct 30, 2007
22,625
0
0
Australia
dLMN8R said:
Actually, DRM does indeed help curb piracy. Look at implementations like Valve's games on Steam and those that use Steamworks - it is 100% impossible for anyone to pirate a game before its release. Pieces of data are held back on the Steam servers until release, and the rest is heavily encrypted beyond any form of cracking.

Similar to Crysis Warhead - the game required activation, and there wasn't a single pirated copy of the game until after release.


Yes, eventually all forms of DRM will be cracked, but by stopping zero-day piracy like this, it is a huge help.

DRM doesn't slow piracy down. Spore was leaked and cracked days before it's US release. Even other games on steam and ones that need activation are pirated. Even if you need that extra bit of data it only means you can play it on launch day for free rather than a week early for free.

That said, I don't care about DRM unless it screws people over like Spore's.
 
D

Deleted member 22576

Unconfirmed Member
I'll just say this:
I've never run into a DRM problem playing PC games.
 

epmode

Member
Jun 7, 2004
28,470
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0
Darklord said:
DRM doesn't slow piracy down. Spore was leaked and cracked days before it's US release. Even other games on steam and ones that need activation are pirated. Even if you need that extra bit of data it only means you can play it on launch day for free rather than a week early for free.
Eliminating zero-day piracy is a pretty huge bonus for Steam since that's the biggest threat. Even people who wouldn't regularly pirate a game would consider it if they can play two weeks early.
Jtwo said:
I'll just say this:
I've never run into a DRM problem playing PC games.
I'll just say this:
I hope you're talking about cracking a legitimate retail copy.
 

charlequin

Banned
Oct 19, 2005
26,635
1
1,405
Sqorgar said:
In my opinion, Stardock might be onto something. What they are offering is not just DRM, but also features for the end user that might have value.

Well, that's kind of been Steam's model, hasn't it? There's fairly light DRM, and in exchange, you get some advantages (like, can't you log in on different computers and install your Steam games? Aren't they working on something to let you share saves for your Steam games on the network?)

Stardock's normal business model for their own games is just the all-carrot, no-stick approach to piracy prevention (which I think is a good idea, though it's easier to buy into for someone who sells deep and complex games for a niche audience than for, say, EA.)

Draft said:
Bottom line is that game publishers are big, stupid animals, and they must be placated.

Right. The problem is basically that publishers have bought their own hype: the various copyrighted-material publishing industries have spent so much time kicking up this smokescreen of "intellectual property" that everyone's started to believe it, and therefore publishers are making irrational decisions based on this false model of value ("our 'IPs' have inherent, non-declining value in and of themselves and must be protected at all costs") instead of the real, actual model of value ("our copyrighted materials have value only inasmuch as we make them widely, openly, and easily available in a legitimate way we can charge for reasonably") that accepts market realities.
 

dLMN8R

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Darklord said:
DRM doesn't slow piracy down. Spore was leaked and cracked days before it's US release. Even other games on steam and ones that need activation are pirated. Even if you need that extra bit of data it only means you can play it on launch day for free rather than a week early for free.

That said, I don't care about DRM unless it screws people over like Spore's.
That's because EA's DRM implementation was fucking stupid, not because of something innately wrong with all DRM.
 

Aselith

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Mar 17, 2008
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DubloSeven said:
DRM/Security - whatever, it's the same thing.



I don't even know why they'd bother. The thing will be cracked as soon as it's released anyhow.


Still, it will be interesting to see what Stardock come up with.

Stardock has been a large proponent of anti-DRM. My guess is they are trying to develop something so that publishers can say they are doing their part against piracy for stockholders but still have the purchasers interest in mind. I'm interested to see their solution as well. Most likely Stardock will never use this at all so it's weird that they're the ones working on it. But, they are more a software developer than a games publisher I guess.
 

dLMN8R

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Dec 14, 2007
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Aselith said:
Stardock has been a large proponent of anti-DRM. My guess is they are trying to develop something so that publishers can say they are doing their part against piracy for stockholders but still have the purchasers interest in mind. I'm interested to see their solution as well. Most likely Stardock will never use this at all so it's weird that they're the ones working on it. But, they are more a software developer than a games publisher I guess.
Stardock has never been anti-DRM - from the beginning, they've been anti-STUPID-DRM.
 

Ulairi

Banned
Jun 18, 2004
4,131
0
0
38
Most likely they need some better copy right protection for Impulse to get more software support.

I don't mind DRM if it isn't stupid.
 

charlequin

Banned
Oct 19, 2005
26,635
1
1,405
dLMN8R said:
Stardock has never been anti-DRM

No, I think it's fair to say that they're anti-DRM. If they weren't, they'd use some of this "non-stupid-DRM" on their own titles.

That said, I see this as an anti-DRM move, in the sense that it's an attack on the extemist DRM that would hopefully show other companies that DRM does not in fact help to maintain their sales.
 

Zzoram

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Apr 17, 2007
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I like the Steam model, and that's why all my money is going there. It's pretty non-intrusive, and we get free community features and cross-game chat, and an integrated friends list.

As someone else said, stopping pre-release piracy is all you need to do. People who are aboslutely going to pirate no matter what won't buy your game if they can't steal it. People who are only occasionally tempted may pirate a game if it means they can get it 2 weeks earlier. I'm sure at least some sales are saved by preventing pre-release piracy, so I'm all for that Steam model of withholding parts of the encrypted data until the "unlock".
 

dLMN8R

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charlequin said:
No, I think it's fair to say that they're anti-DRM. If they weren't, they'd use some of this "non-stupid-DRM" on their own titles.

That said, I see this as an anti-DRM move, in the sense that it's an attack on the extemist DRM that would hopefully show other companies that DRM does not in fact help to maintain their sales.
No, I think it's fair to believe exactly the words that Brad Wardell of Stardock says:

http://www.stardock.com/media/stardockcustomerreport-2008.pdf
 

MaritalWheat

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Mar 5, 2008
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If they find a way to cut down on the number of assholes pirating games out there without bothering me, the faithful customer purchasing said games, more power to them. And its Stardock--they're not going to put out some bullshit. If it becomes a hassle for the consumer, I'm sure they won't put it out at all.
 

aeolist

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Oct 31, 2006
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Wardell argued that if a publisher wants a user to jump through a security hoop, that user should get something in return.
This is hugely important right here.

Steam has DRM out the ass but I don't give a shit because it never bothers me and the features I get in return make my life easier.