What recent physical PC games are DRM-free? (no Steam or Origin activation)

Regginator

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I'm thinking about beginning a physical PC game collection, but with the amount of DRM and one-usage activation codes nowadays (Steam, Origin, Battle.net, Uplay, etc. etc.), I'm extremely cautious as to which ones I buy physical so they aren't rendered useless immediately. So I'd like to ask from you to come up with recent games (let's say not older than 10 years) that are good ol' fashioned put the disc in, run the installer, and play. No activation, no nothing.

My (not so) comprehensive list:

  • Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

I'll try updating this list with your input and suggestions.
 

Regginator

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Erm...

Farming Simulator 2015
According to this thread there's a Steam activation in it...

edit: Oops, never mind, it's the 2013 version. Weird that they'd drop Steam after having it already.

wouldn't any of the newer retail games listed on GOG be DRM free (for the equivalent boxed version)...
I was thinking about that, but most of what's on GOG either is 10+ year old or it's also on Steam (which I imagined the physical versions would use as an activation).

I have no confirmation though.
 

Unai

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wouldn't any of the newer retail games listed on GOG be DRM free (for the equivalent boxed version)...
That's correct if the boxed version is a gog install. Sometimes the boxed version has to be activated on Steam. If I remeber it right it's the case with Pillars of Eternity, for instance.
 

xVodevil

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Now even PES goes with steamworks, but I guess 1 or 2 games earlier it might have had only securom or something like that, but no activation.
 

stan423321

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Physical PC games?
Yes, that's how GAF calls games in boxes. What were you expecting, tabletop games?

Real talk, directly after launch they're typically way cheaper than buying directly on Steam or wherever.

I was thinking about that, but most of what's on GOG either is 10+ year old or it's also on Steam (which I imagined the physical versions would use as an activation).

I have no confirmation though.
Correct, they typically do. Every Steam game I know has Steam logo on back of the box though.
 

Arafo

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I have bought some physical PC games over the past few months (DOOM, Overwatch, NFS, XCOM 2, Witcher 3 Blood and Wine, Dark Souls 3, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Fallout 4 and some more) and pretty much all of them are tied to Steam, Origin, Uplay or Battle.net.
The only exception Broken Age (DRM Free + Steam code)
 

Kyougar

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*old man yelling at clouds*

in MY times we had to play with stick and stones!



But really... what is the purpose of this thread?

- reminiscing about the good old past of drm free physical PC games? Like the ones who you had to activate with a key? or a physical wheel like monkey Island 1? Or the good old early 2000's 3 times activation and then you lost access to the game?
- actual good to honest request for a narrow list of drm free PC games that you could play?
- or a stealth pc shaming thread?


Digital SAVED PC gaming
 

Giran

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Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
I'm not sure whether Witcher 3 had a reprint yet but every copy that was shipped at the game's launch does include DRM and requires internet connection to be able to play.

You can add Prince of Persia (2008) to your list though. Ubisoft shipped it without any DRM at all. And then of course blamed the lack of sales on pirates.

I was trying to think of a few non-indie games that are somewhat niche and got physical releases but all of them used SecuROM or something else.
 

CHC

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Well, anything on GOG but you still have to log in and download the game, so I don't think that counts in your book.

Physical? None, really. And I definitely wouldn't count Oblivion as "recent"! But yeah physical PC games are pretty much over.
 

Regginator

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*old man yelling at clouds*

in MY times we had to play with stick and stones!



But really... what is the purpose of this thread?

- reminiscing about the good old past of drm free physical PC games? Like the ones who you had to activate with a key? or a physical wheel like monkey Island 1? Or the good old early 2000's 3 times activation and then you lost access to the game?
- actual good to honest request for a narrow list of drm free PC games that you could play?
- or a stealth pc shaming thread?


Digital SAVED PC gaming
The second one, like I specifically mentioned in the OP. I want to start building a PC collection, but I can't exactly do that if most of the physical games have one-time activation codes, and thus I asked for DRM free physical games to build a collection.

It's literally written there in the OP.

I'm not sure whether Witcher 3 had a reprint yet but every copy that was shipped at the game's launch does include DRM and requires internet connection to be able to play.
That's not correct, only the pre-release versions had this internet requirement, copies made during and after release are completely DRM free with an optional GOG code.

The initial, pre-­premiere retail PC batch of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt needs to download a file from our servers to allow play. This file will either be downloaded automatically during installation process (via GOG Galaxy, optional DRM­-free gaming platform of GOG.com) or you can choose to download it manually from a dedicated website.

Since we have no DRM in the game, this is a security measure we needed to incorporate so the game doesn’t leak during the production process. No worries, the file will not be big. Copies of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt produced after launch will not contain this security feature.
http://en.cdprojektred.com/support/internet-access-when-installing/
 

CrazyArcadia

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Intergalactic German Space Arcade! Physical PC games are ultra common in Germany. Even nichegames and indies often get a retail release here.

Still, most need to be activated via Steam or similiar services. Really, I avoid everything which needs mandatory Origin or Uplay activation. Both of those, but especially Uplay, lead to problems on the device. E.g. deleted savestates or not booting anymore after a while (my PC is a workstation and as such mostly offline apart from me uploading work-related stuff, doing updates or downloading games via Steam/GOG etc.).

Witcher 3 already got mentioned, I believe Divinity Original Sin can be activated via GOG instead of Steam, lots of indies. But not enough games, really.
 

CecilRousso

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There are some exceptions, but they're mostly indies/niche/crowdfunded games, like Broken Age that someone mentioned before.
 

Giran

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That's not correct, only the pre-release versions had this internet requirement, copies made during and after release are completely DRM free with an optional GOG code.
During release? What? The copies get shipped to stores before release. Then they are sold from release day onwards. All of the retail Witcher 3 copies that were initially shipped include this DRM solution. They said copies made after launch will not have it but like I said, I'm not sure whether the PC version got a reprint or not.

Well, there it is then. Thanks.
 

petran79

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Humble Store offers both Steam and DRM free versions of various games.
Eg the recent Day of the Tentacle remake and...Mighty no9. They even offer DLC as separate exe installers
 

Grim Patron

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During release? What? The copies get shipped to stores before release. Then they are sold from release day onwards. All of the retail Witcher 3 copies that were initially shipped include this DRM solution. They said copies made after launch will not have it but like I said, I'm not sure whether the PC version got a reprint or not.
It did. The repritn doesn't include an OST disc like the original release had. The reprint also ships in 1 DVD box (not sure how many discs inside) as opposed to 2 that the original run had.
 

Atomski

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Why not just do your own backup DIY cases?

Buy some blank DVD cases,
print covers for disks and case http://www.steamgamecovers.com/
Burn Steam Backups (or you could probably pre crack the games to be future proof but i have no idea how that works or the legalitys of making backups like that)
Slap them all together
Profit?
 
Apr 8, 2011
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*old man yelling at clouds*

in MY times we had to play with stick and stones!



But really... what is the purpose of this thread?

- reminiscing about the good old past of drm free physical PC games? Like the ones who you had to activate with a key? or a physical wheel like monkey Island 1? Or the good old early 2000's 3 times activation and then you lost access to the game?
- actual good to honest request for a narrow list of drm free PC games that you could play?
- or a stealth pc shaming thread?


Digital SAVED PC gaming
What is the purpose of this post? The OP asked a fairly interesting trivia question that isn't likely going to have a lot of answers, and what, you're just pissing all over them because you felt the need to rant a bit? Get over yourself.

So you cant sell used pc games anymore?
Not really. Most PC games attach to an account permanently.
 

Wowfunhappy

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Jun 2, 2013
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Why not just do your own backup DIY cases?

Buy some blank DVD cases,
print covers for disks and case http://www.steamgamecovers.com/
Burn Steam Backups (or you could probably pre crack the games to be future proof but i have no idea how that works or the legalitys of making backups like that)
Slap them all together
Profit?
While this is actually a nice idea, one problem I can think of is that professionally pressed discs will last a lot longer than DVD's burned in consumer drives, which are generally rated for only around 5-10 years.

Unless you buy M-Discs, I guess, but that can get expensive.