So Who Is DRM For Anyway?

Shamus Young

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So Who Is DRM For Anyway?

With Battlefield: Hardline recently announcing it will have DRM, Shamus mulls what use the practice offers.

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geizr

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Gamers are stupid enough to keep buying the same crap from the same companies that keep crapping on them. Honestly, I've lost all sympathy for the plight of the gaming community because it keeps buying it.

We have two companies (EA, Ubisoft) with a proven track record of just dumping flaming diarrhea on its customers; yet, the gaming community just keeps right on buying from these same companies. These companies aren't doing anything right, at all; it's that gamers keep doing something woefully wrong (throwing money at blatant, unrepentant crooks).
 

rofltehcat

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My theory: Tradition and bureaucracy (or possible mishap).

They probably have some design document/guideline that says limited installations are part of their standard DRM package/requirements. Another alternative would be that the devs were sent an old EA guideline by accident. Either way nobody bothered questioning it.

Alternative: The installation limit has always been part of their DRM suite since the Spore days and only this time someone activated a checkbox that nobody had touched in years.
 

Cerebrawl

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It's a play for the galleries, it's a con by untechsavvie businessmen to tell other untechsavvie businessmen their investment is secure.

I'm quite happy not giving EA or Ubisoft my money though, there's plenty of other companies, making better games, and not being assholes to their customers.
 

immortalfrieza

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geizr said:
Gamers are stupid enough to keep buying the same crap from the same companies that keep crapping on them. Honestly, I've lost all sympathy for the plight of the gaming community because it keeps buying it.
The problem is that for every 1 person that's smart enough and cares enough to not buy games with DRM and other sorts of horrible business practices associated with it there's a hundred idiots that don't know or don't care they are being screwed over that get into some disposable income that keep buying into it. The gaming community's plight is the result of people that aren't really a part of that community making everything worse for everybody.

That, and the number of good and worthwhile games coming out that aren't doing this crap already are few and far between. Sure, there's indie games and other smaller developers out there that don't have DRM and On disc DLC and whatever, but the quality of the games is consequently is much more a hit and miss, not to mention even being aware the games exist in the first place. It's hard not to buy into blatantly exploitative crap like this when the actual choices available to do otherwise are so limited and the bigwigs of the industry know it.
 

medv4380

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In order for the DRM to work the DRM has to be put in the game. Origin is kind of a form of DRM, but it's just a game delivery platform if the Game doesn't have DRM embedded in it to talk to Origin. Otherwise it would be trivial to launch it without Origin after origin installed it, and trivial to redistribute it.

It's really not hard to see who the DRM is intended for, and who they're counting as pirates who ether aren't, or aren't the kind of pirates everyone thinks of when talk about piracy. Might give you a clue about how they have these stupidly high "piracy" figures.

First thing to point out is the your legal rights on a PC are rather small when it comes to what you can do. This site and others like to propagate this lie that you can just take the copy of Windows on one PC and transfer it to another. That's actually false for 99% of the licences out there and would count towards Windows Piracy figures. For the small percentage who paid a premium for a full retail copy of windows, and not the one slapped on their PC by the manufacture, and not the cheap Upgrade copy you can, but that is a tiny percentage of the market.

This is the core of how piracy tallies are made off of the older games prior to DRM that just had key's. You install the game, and put in your key. That's tallied as 1 legal copy. You format your PC, or get a new one, and put the key in again when you reinstall. That contacts the servers and the servers tally that as a pirated copy because it already has a legal tally for that key. Not actually piracy, but how are they to know you are the same person, and not a new person. Remember second hand software on the PC is also Illegal, and Piracy by law. Also with the Licence model they can Licence you to only be legaly able to reinstall it a set number of times.

Isn't the PC licencing model grand at removing, and impinging on the right of first sale.

This is the kind of piracy Steam, Origin, and Ubisoft are squashing.
This is why they pressed to go digital with the PC early.
This is why they've tried to crush the Used market for systems.

Not like any of them understand the economics of why the Used Market made the Game Industry recession proof for decades, and the moment the get a lock in eroding it the 2008 recession started to hurt them all.

There is no way to fix it. Live with the hell the PC has all dragged us to, and accept that most were complicit on the journey there.
 

GabeZhul

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DRM is for the shareholders. The industry have been on a witch-hunt against piracy, blaming their financial troubles on it whether it actually had any considerable effect on profit margins or not. By now it has been ingrained into people's heads that piracy is bad for business. DRM, on the surface, is for combating piracy. It doesn't work, but the investors and shareholders don't necessarily know this. All they "know" is that the eeeeeeeeevil software pirates are lurking outside, and that they want to "steal" their games and destroy their dividends. They want the company to do something about it, and so the company slaps DRM onto their games. It doesn't stop pirates, but the shareholders "think" that it stops them, and therefore they invest more and the company stays afloat and can pay dividends. At the end of the day, DRM is the placebo of the gaming industry.
 

fix-the-spade

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geizr said:
Gamers are stupid enough to keep buying the same crap from the same companies that keep crapping on them.
That's only true to a point though.

Over the last decade my purchases from EA have gone from 'most releases' to Battlefield, Crysis and Mass Effect to Battlefield to nothing.

In 2013 I bought one EA game (Battlefield 4), in 2014 I bought none and 2015 looks like a similar story.

I must spend around $500 a year on gaming, I'm still spending that money, just not with EA and I wonder how many other people out there are steadily repeating the story. Of course none of it matters because EA sports it's a self perpuating devourer of souls with exclusive licenses to everything, EA can heat every developer's home with thousand dollar bills and it would probably still turn a profit.
 

geizr

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immortalfrieza said:
Sure, there's indie games and other smaller developers out there that don't have DRM and On disc DLC and whatever, but the quality of the games is consequently is much more a hit and miss, not to mention even being aware the games exist in the first place. It's hard not to buy into blatantly exploitative crap like this when the actual choices available to do otherwise are so limited and the bigwigs of the industry know it.
One can always chose to do something else, exercise, read a book, see a movie, write a novel, build a yacht, tend a garden, etc., etc. There're tons of life-fulfilling alternatives to video games, especially when the fun and fulfillment of video gaming keeps being syphoned away by the nefarious tactics of a few companies. Personally, I've been finding myself more involved with board gaming precisely because of all this kind of crap.
 

Def25

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I trully dont get this.

Multiplayer bf game. Same thing as last time, a reskin. Dissapointing scores.

Peple will buy it for mp. No one buys it for singleplayer.

They use denuvo drm to make sure pirates cant play a horrible 5 hour campaign. Hundrends of thousands of $$$$ for the drm, they dont even bother adding a fov option so the campaign is playble on a pc.

EA LOGIC.

Then they basicly go with the same garbage they used back in 2009 with limited installs due to changing hardware. Because hey, god forbid someone finds a way to play the copy of he game on multiple systems, that means he is passing the copy around at his friends despite the origin acounts issue. Also lets not forget origin is spyware and makes money of your information.

Then you got nonsense like "no local coop on revelations 2 because we couldnt do it" by capcom, modders prove em wrong they have to patch it in, then you got RE5 re-release using the same argument "we couldnt do it" modder proves it can be done.

Then you wonder why pirates exist while steam is around...did i mention this game is not on steam.

It was nice for a while that ea didnt do anything so they didnt look like the devil, but now they are back at it again.
 

Lightknight

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It only locks out if someone rapidly installs the same license on 8 different machines within a certain time period. It is a timed lockout. So eventually the lock would go away. So this shouldn't even impact the second-hand market depending on the length of the timeout.

The only person this hurts is someone installing the same license over and over again. By using the local hardware then EA is creating some weird kind of two-form authentication here. Since the information is stored on a server then this really isn't something that is all that crackable. You have to basically ghost the same image to make the server think it's the same machine to even get close or to make the server think every pirated copy is a unique version.

I think this may actually work in fighting mass distribution in a way that would never impact an individual consumer but would prevent the average pirate from obtaining a copy illegally.

Shamus (or anyone else), can you clarify if my premise is valid? If so, this may actually be the first form of DRM I'm actually ok with.
 

wetfart

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My theory on what happened:

Dev 1: So ... there's this left over money in the budget. What should we use it on?
Dev 2: DRM?
Dev 3: Really? On top of Origin? That's what we're going to spend the money on?
Dev 1: Sure. If we don't use it, our budget for the sequel won't be as big!
 

schmulki

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I work with a the type of people being complained about here. I can't understand it. They:

1) Will buy and play almost any FPS, even if it's not very good or original at all, "at least it's something new and any FPS is fun. If any is fun, I question why they don't just stick with older ones, which is met with shrugs.

2) Claim to hate the crap companies like EA does, then the game comes out, and 1-2 people buy it anyway, then they all follow cause they have to all have the same game to play.

3) Play the game hard for 1-2 weeks, tops. Usually 1 week. Then they move onto the next one. At least most of them use Gamefly for a lot of it so they're not directly giving money to these companies, but then they'll turn around a month or so later and like clockwork, decide to all rent it again from Gamefly, and pay to keep it this time because now it's "only" $35 or so. Then play it for 1-2 weeks, tops, and move onto something else.

4) Scoff at playing games on a PC, despite them all being in IT with me. They all know PCs well. They all understand the economics of it. Most have PCs hooked up to giant monitors or TVs already. But they all need to be on X-box live cause everyone's on X-Box live.

I gave up a long time ago trying to understand how these guys function. They generally all go home at night, get on X-box live, get wasted, and play the FPS of the minute till 2 AM, then spend the whole next day complaining how tired they are. Repeat that process at least 3 times during the week and twice on weekends.
 

DeadlyYellow

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Perhaps it's the precursor to some new DRM monstrosity EA is concocting? There's theories floating around that this will be the dev studio's swan song, so if EA is just expecting the title to toe the line perhaps they're using it as early staging.
 
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About Point #2 (Brandon Could Buy The Game If He Wanted), does EA really only target DRM at people who could pay? Is it not that Brandon (and all the other pirates) are still costing the company money through server time? It seems like making it a hassle for Brandon to access the game illegally encourages him to either buy it outright, or go find some other game and not take up space in Hardline's infrastructure. The return on investment is however much would have been spent per pirate, plus the more nebulous value of having servers that aren't overloaded by a bunch of pirates and causes legitimate buyers to think that EA is incompetent or that Battlefield has a terrible back end, leading them to not purchase any more titles.
GabeZhul said:
Always handy to have people who didn't read the article out themselves.
 

Silence

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Hardline has, afaik, already far fewer copies sold and fewer games played than Battlefield 4.

So maybe the people who buy these games wake up - or it just has to do with the scenario.
 

Kingjackl

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This reminds me of my own situation with Dragon Age Inquisition, where we bought a boxed copy of the game (because fuck downloading it over Australian internet), then found you can only have it installed on one Origin account at a time, meaning we can't play multiplayer and have to kick each other off every time one of us wants to play it. We live under the same roof, these sort of restrictions are just asinine.
 

Steve the Pocket

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Who is it for? The secret Valve plant who works for EA and is trying to sabotage their reputation even more to make Valve look better by comparison, naturally. ;)

But in all seriousness, it really does seem like the people in charge of major corporations are robots programmed to evaluate all possible options and then make whatever decision is deemed to be the stupidest, because there's no way a human being, even one with severe mental disabilities, could reach the conclusions that they reach sometimes. Happens in marketing too; remember when the takeaway from Mars Needs Moms being such a box office flop wasn't that the movie itself was stupid and terrible, but that audiences have an aversion to anything with "Mars" in the name? I shit you not; that's why John Carter of Mars got its title cut down.

Kingjackl said:
This reminds me of my own situation with Dragon Age Inquisition, where we bought a boxed copy of the game (because fuck downloading it over Australian internet), then found you can only have it installed on one Origin account at a time, meaning we can't play multiplayer and have to kick each other off every time one of us wants to play it. We live under the same roof, these sort of restrictions are just asinine.
If you had bought it for a console, you'd still only be able to play it on one system at a time because there's only one disc, so I don't see how this is so horrible exactly?
 

StreamerDarkly

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schmulki said:
I work with a the type of people being complained about here. I can't understand it. They:

1) Will buy and play almost any FPS, even if it's not very good or original at all, "at least it's something new and any FPS is fun. If any is fun, I question why they don't just stick with older ones, which is met with shrugs.
Which can be said about the preferred genre of anyone who buys a lot of games. Few things are more loathsome than listening to someone lecture about how refined their own gaming tastes are compared to those cavemen who like multiplayer shooters.

schmulki said:
4) Scoff at playing games on a PC, despite them all being in IT with me. They all know PCs well. They all understand the economics of it. Most have PCs hooked up to giant monitors or TVs already. But they all need to be on X-box live cause everyone's on X-Box live.
Apparently it escaped your notice that the article specifically refers to DRM on PCs. As console DRM tends to be much less obtrusive, this would exclude your friends from the category of battered wives who complain about bad experiences with DRM but continue to support the offending companies.

No, it appears that the singular purpose of your post was to let everyone know just how high your gaming horse is to be able to look down on your lowly coworkers and the "type of people" like them.