Square Enix Says DRM Is Here To Stay

Sarge034

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Strazdas said:
People stopppign stealing stuff is good, but how is this related to the topic at hand?
Because the author made a faulty assertion. Correcting it then becomes relevant.
 

Branindain

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I get that DRM can be annoying and all, but these threads frustrate me. Everyone screeches in outrage at DRM and insists it needs to be eradicated, and the earth from whence it sprung salted so that it may never return. However, piracy itself doesn't annoy anybody, it just gets handwaved away as being part of life. It's like Yahtzee talking to Metal Gear - "Oh pirates, did you steal 4 million copies of that game again? You larrikins you."

I understand that you can't "solve" piracy, but realistically, even if it's the optimum solution, you can't expect a game company which hears that millions of people are illegally downloading their game to just shrug it off. That would be infuriating, they're honour bound to search for solutions. So when they do, and they fuck it up and overdo it, tell them so, but remember to spare some rage for the freeloading gamers while you're at it.
 

aaron552

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DRM literally *has to* "come between the player and the game". That's how it works.
 

Zac Jovanovic

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BigTuk said:
Let's take Steam for example...that's poretty unobtrusive DRM right there. no fuss with passwords, or install disks, it's tied to your account and as long as you've logged into steam in the past 3 or so months...you can use offline play.

Suyre, we'd all love if everyone went GoG's no DRM route but the fact that GoG's entire library is up on the torrent sites... yeah... kinda proves the point. DRM can't stop determined pirates, but good DRM combined with sensible pricing makes it far more cost effective to simply buy the game than to spend the time pirating, patching, repatching, etc.
Everything on Steam is also on torrent sites, even the early access, alphas, betas, indies and everything. For any game that has a following cracked Steam updates come hours after Steam patches.
Steam is about as useless as DRM can be, if anything it helps piracy by steamlining the cracking process and making every pirated game work with same idiot proof instructions.
 

Strazdas

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May 28, 2011
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Sarge034 said:
Strazdas said:
People stopppign stealing stuff is good, but how is this related to the topic at hand?
Because the author made a faulty assertion. Correcting it then becomes relevant.
Im still not in udnerstanding what assertion was done here and why is stealing stuff even relevant here?
Piracy is not theft. This is defined both logically and by law as copyright infringement, which is not the same thing as theft. So why are you talking about theft when we are talking about copyright infringement is beyond me.

Branindain said:
I get that DRM can be annoying and all, but these threads frustrate me. Everyone screeches in outrage at DRM and insists it needs to be eradicated, and the earth from whence it sprung salted so that it may never return. However, piracy itself doesn't annoy anybody, it just gets handwaved away as being part of life. It's like Yahtzee talking to Metal Gear - "Oh pirates, did you steal 4 million copies of that game again? You larrikins you."

I understand that you can't "solve" piracy, but realistically, even if it's the optimum solution, you can't expect a game company which hears that millions of people are illegally downloading their game to just shrug it off. That would be infuriating, they're honour bound to search for solutions. So when they do, and they fuck it up and overdo it, tell them so, but remember to spare some rage for the freeloading gamers while you're at it.
DRM does not stop piracy in any way. therefore it already failed its only purpose. What it does, is annoy legal costumers and actually turn them towards piracy, because piracy becomes a better service where your games actually work. Piracy is a fact of life. It was around ever since copyrighted material existed. In the 80s peopel copied casettes. In the 18th century people copied plays. Its not something new or something anyone ever managed to combat.

Yes, they should search for solutions to piracy. Valve found one. The solution is to provide better service than pirates do. The only way to combat piracy is the carrot, not the stick.

Zac Jovanovic said:
Everything on Steam is also on torrent sites, even the early access, alphas, betas, indies and everything. For any game that has a following cracked Steam updates come hours after Steam patches.
Steam is about as useless as DRM can be, if anything it helps piracy by steamlining the cracking process and making every pirated game work with same idiot proof instructions.
This is very true. A cousin asked me to play Rust with him couple days back so i told him i dont have one. he then gave me link to 3 different versions of the game on torrent sites. Everything gets pirated, every collectors edition directors cut extended version and so on gets pirated.
Steam pre-loading is loved among pirates. its basically a full copy of the game days before actual release, all you need to do is crach the easy steam DRM.
 

weirdee

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and by "here to stay", they mean "well until somebody manages to crack it but how long do you think that takes, right?"

of course, since people finding out that the drm is annoying only happens after the "no backsies" part of the sale, they probably consider it to be negligible to their goal

BigTuk said:
Suyre, we'd all love if everyone went GoG's no DRM route but the fact that GoG's entire library is up on the torrent sites... yeah... kinda proves the point.
Congratulations, you've proven that old games have already been pirated, including games that originally had DRM. Yet somehow GoG still makes good money without DRM. A definite point in the win column for your argument.
 

The White Hunter

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Oct 19, 2011
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Eh at least they're honest about it, and Squeenix games never have annoying DRM, at least in my experience. It's not like Ubisoft with Uplay, or anything that has the audacity to run fucking GFWL.
 

Monsterfurby

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As was stated: DRM per se is fine, but only if it is not implemented in a way that blocks or hurts the player's experience.
 

Nazulu

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Jun 5, 2008
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What type of DRM? I want to know if I should be angry or not, Dammit!

He does sound like he's trying to be realistic, not just calling their customers thieves, just that they are doing it for the money. But if he's talking about that always-online rubbish, then may he be forced to finish Sonic 06'.
 

WarpedLord

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NuclearKangaroo said:
a pirated copy of a game should never be considered a potential sale lost, some people simply wouldnt have bought you game regardless

if you offered someone a lamborgini for free, they would likely accept it, that doesnt mean they would have OR could have bought the car otherwise

SNIP
While it's certainly true that it's LIKELY that a high percentage of pirated copies wouldn't translate to sales, it's more than a little intellectually dishonest to say that NONE of those copies would translate to sales. There are certainly people out there with the attitude of "Why buy what you can get for free?".

Of course, there's absolutely no way to know for sure, so like most "logical" arguments about piracy, this one's pointless.

NuclearKangaroo said:
if you offered someone a lamborgini for free, they would likely accept it, that doesnt mean they would have OR could have bought the car otherwise
Except in this case, the Lamborghini that is being offered is stolen. A better analogy is that if someone came across a Lamborgini with the keys in it, some people would hop in and take it.

Some of us wouldn't. And don't.

(and please don't give me the tired old "it's not theft if it's not a physical object" crap. That's ridiculous and everyone knows it)
 

Trishbot

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Fox12 said:
Trishbot said:
Has DRM ever - EVER - prevented a game from being pirated?

In fact, aren't the most pirated games of all time those WITH DRM?

What does DRM truly accomplish, besides wasting developer resources, getting in the way of legitimate customers, and making fans angry?
DRM isn't really about piracy. It's about controlling the market. Not just in video games either, this is common practice.
But, after nearly 10 years of it FAILING to remotely "control the market", wouldn't you say this approach isn't working? It's like they're sitting there going "well, we have to do SOMETHING... I don't care if it doesn't work. We'll just tell our shareholders we're being proactive about it, even if it has a success rate of 0%."

I'd even say that, given how eager some people are to pirate DRM-infested game to SPITE companies (see: Spore), they've lost MORE control than they had prior to implementing DRM in the first place.
 

Andy Chalk

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Kinitawowi said:
Not only is it not cheaper for publishers (because it's a physical product that has to be made, rather than just data in the Interwebs), but it's too easy to photocopy it and render it completely useless. And if your argument is "useless = just as effective as any other DRM haw haw", then sadly you're wrong. Diablo 3's always online DRM stinks and it's a pain to use it when your internet's having a strop, but it's worked. D3 has proved a nightmare for pirates.
Yeah, as someone who was actually around for code wheels, this is true - a quick trip to the copier and you're off to the races. Given the advent of digital distribution, it's not even really doable at all; publishers could opt for the similar "look up the word in the owner's manual" trick, but since digital files are even easier and more convenient to copy and distribute than paper, it'd be an exercise in futility. (And nostalgia, which is where my interest comes from.)

And while I know I'm in the minority, I feel obligated to point out that Diablo 3's DRM is so effective it kept me from buying and playing the game entirely. I have hundreds of hours in Diablo and Diablo 2 and I was really looking forward to D3, but always-on DRM means no purchase. There's no doubt that I represent a negligible percentage of Blizzard's potential market, but given the way the industry clutches to the "pirated copy is a lost sale" mantra, it's worth remembering that a non-pirated copy can be a lost sale, too.
 

Andy Chalk

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Sarge034 said:
I would have thought the most obvious solution would be for people to stop stealing shit, but calling out the cause of the issue and not the symptom isn't the bandwagon opinion...
But the real problem with DRM isn't people stealing shit, it's that DRM can be more problematic for legitimate users than those who choose to pirate. Anything can be boiled down to behaviours - the real solution to overcrowded prisons is for people to stop being criminals - but it doesn't actually address the matter at hand.
 

nevarran

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Strazdas said:
nevarran said:
Nothing bad with DRM, as long as it isn't to intrusive and annoying. The problem is, those DRMs are easier to crack and therefore less effective.
Well my my, you have to share this DRM that isnt intrusive and annoying and is even effective. since there is no real world examples.
Well, that was my point. The not intrusive DRMs are not effective.

Actually as I think about it now, the Bioshock DRM was quite effective and I don't recall it being intrusive. A SecuROM, if I'm not mistaken. It was a new version, just by the time the game was launching. And it held like a month, before it was cracked. I personally know a few people, who bought the game, because they didn't wanted to wait for the crack.
 

NuclearKangaroo

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WarpedLord said:
NuclearKangaroo said:
a pirated copy of a game should never be considered a potential sale lost, some people simply wouldnt have bought you game regardless

if you offered someone a lamborgini for free, they would likely accept it, that doesnt mean they would have OR could have bought the car otherwise

SNIP
While it's certainly true that it's LIKELY that a high percentage of pirated copies wouldn't translate to sales, it's more than a little intellectually dishonest to say that NONE of those copies would translate to sales. There are certainly people out there with the attitude of "Why buy what you can get for free?".

Of course, there's absolutely no way to know for sure, so like most "logical" arguments about piracy, this one's pointless.

NuclearKangaroo said:
if you offered someone a lamborgini for free, they would likely accept it, that doesnt mean they would have OR could have bought the car otherwise
Except in this case, the Lamborghini that is being offered is stolen. A better analogy is that if someone came across a Lamborgini with the keys in it, some people would hop in and take it.

Some of us wouldn't. And don't.

(and please don't give me the tired old "it's not theft if it's not a physical object" crap. That's ridiculous and everyone knows it)
whats ridiculous is to think piray is theft, piracy is not theft


if someone steals your car, you have to buy another, if someone pirates your game, you dont have to make another

piracy is closer to copyright infringement, which is still a crime but lets call things by their name



actually what the football manager guys found out is that piracy might actually account for some lost sales, but only 176000 around a 17% of the amount of football manager copies sold, not insignificant, but not a huge amount either


devs are always going to lose sales, either by used games sales or piracy, this stuff happens, maybe they should come to terms with that fact, and if they try to do something about it, atleast have the decency to not bother legit customers



also just to make things clear,I AM NOT DEFENDING PIRACY
 

DrOswald

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Strazdas said:
DrOswald said:
With the mobile FF4, 5 and 6 games: Once you start the game with a connection you can start it 10 more times without having an internet connection. 10 times is a good amount. I tend to leave my current game of choice launched, so 10 launches would probably take several weeks to use up, and the chance of none of those launches having an available connection seems almost impossible.
I connect my phone to internet once per month. The "my currently active game" gets launched twice a day or once a day depending on the day of the week. i play it when i am traveling. this means that i would be fucked royally if i wanted to play FF mobile.
That is why I said that it might be extremely annoying for people with different usage habits. I wasn't saying that everyone who dislikes it is wrong, only that it is not as bad as Weeping Angels made it out to be.
 

A-D.

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DRM is an exercise in futility in my opinion. Its not really about if its going to be cracked, but rather when. I mean no DRM has ever really held up permanently. Sure you could argue the always-online DRM does for "some" games, but look at AC2, it was always online, still got cracked, same goes for GTA4 for example. There is a question really on whether there is any point to it, i.e. you dont see all games cracked, but rather some of them. Nobody has really tried cracking D3 open for example, it can probably been done, but nobody wants to.

Thats really how the scene operates, they dont make cracks so you can get the games for free, they do it to prove that they can crack that DRM. Its basicly like White Hats who hack to prove that it can be done, rather than doing it for any malicious purpose. When it comes to piracy, which is the endresult because people then use these cracks and get themselves the games to use these cracks on, is a problem of service really.

The more hoops the customer has to jump through to get to play your game, the worse the DRM is. If you have to sign up to this service, then that launcher, the forum there and maybe even join this newsletter thing..then you're doing it wrong. Case in point, UPlay and Origin. Now EA while being greedy assholes do the DRM side rather well, in the sense that you cant buy their games digitally on steam. Now look at Ubisoft, even if you buy the game on steam, you are required to also install UPlay and register an account there. Whats the point? UPlay is no more "secure" than Steam is if it comes to "making sure you aint pirating", so why should i require 2 services instead of 1? Its not even about which is better, its about which is more redundant. If i buy a game through steam, i accept that steam may be required to play the game, but i dont expect nor should i be forced into signing up for yet another service that offers me no tangible benefit for actually doing so.

Steam is already the same thing and has proven that there is additional value in the form of sales which happen alot, UPlay doesnt do that, or rather the question is whether IF any sales happen, how many sales there are and how deep the discount is. If they are fewer and at the same discount as Steam, again what is my benefit for having UPlay or purchasing games through that service instead? Short of deeper discounts or giving away free games occasionally, you cant really beat steam. Steam is rather non-intrusive, although it fucks up regularly, going down and being a pain, and offers a proven benefit already that makes any other service redundant.

Origin on the other hand is smart, or rather EA is, because they do discounts, they dont have to compete since they dont offer their newer games on steam, though thats mostly for greed reasons, and they offer the occasional free game if you get those games through Origin. Plus they have their return-policy which is also arguably a good thing. But its still a redundant service at the end of the day if i already have one. The big difference is, Steam has discounts and a ton of games you can buy from it, UPlay has Ubisoft Titles and Origin has EA Games, thats a very limited portfolio.

Then come these launcher, like the Kalypso Launcher and Stardock Launcher and how many others there are. They arent necessary, they provide even less upside other than having to sign in again into some service to play games you already purchased. Then comes always-online bollocks obviously, what if the Servers cant handle the load? SimCity 2013 and Diablo 3 proved that. What if the servers are down? Look at AC2, Silent Hunter and other Ubisoft titles that came out around the same time, the servers were DDoS'd and nobody could play except the pirates, to some degree.

If Piracy offers the better service, your DRM has failed by default. Again the more hoops you have to jump through, the more potential problems there could arise, the less effective it is. Because if i had to choose between a game i purchase and cant play because the servers are down, and a game i would pirate and play whenever i feel like it, then..honestly, piracy wins for the sole reason that i can actually play the game. So it would be in the benefit of most companies to do away with DRM altogether, at least until they figure out some option that can "prove your copy is legit" without affecting the consumer too much.
 

DrOswald

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xaszatm said:
DrOswald said:
Anytime DRM locks you out of a game you rightfully own it is a false positive. So every single example of DRM hurting the consumer.

I really don't know what else to tell you. False positives are why everyone hates DRM, because they are afraid that there will someday be a false positive and their game wont work. The "make the game buggy" strategy does nothing to prevent false positives, it only changes the result. That result is still DRM ruins the game, it is just harder to see that this is the case.

The "bug DRM" strategy does not increase security in any way. Once the pirates know it is there it is the exact same thing as normal DRM to them. The real purpose of bug DRM is to avoid bad press or convert it into good press. DRM false positives are a rare occurrence, but they generate a lot of negative press. On the other hand, a very small portion of the user base, say 1%, having a really buggy game experience generates almost no bad press. They don't know it is DRM so they never call foul. They just think they bought a bad game. And then eventually, after the DRM has been cracked, the developer can release a public statement showing how clever they are and everyone is so impressed at how they turned the tables on the pirates.

If we are stuck with DRM I want it up front. I want to know what is going on so I can make an informed decision or solve the problems the DRM is causing. I don't want my shit to just randomly stop working so I have to hunt down why. I don't want developers to be able to hide their draconian DRM and anti-consumer practices.
Okay, I want to say this now, before this conversation continues that I am not a fan of DRM. I think the entire practice is a waste of time and effort and that a good game will sell well with or without it. A good game will cause people who were thinking about pirating it buy it instead. The rest of the people who pirate it are the people who pirate everything anyways.

That being said, I've never heard of false positives being the reason behind disliking DRM. I thought that DRM was universally disliked because not only was it ineffective, but DRM treated the consumers like they were criminals and wasted the consumer's time. If there is too much hassle to play the game, most people will either ignore said game, or pirate it if they really want to play the game.

Now, "Bug" DRM instead tries to make it so people who pirate are the ones who have too much hassle. While it is true that once a person finds the bug, it can be fixed, but once again, people don't like waiting. If it is taking a while for pirates to break a game, they will either lose interest or just buy the game. Spyro and Earthbound took years to figure out AND both told you right away that you were using a pirated copy so if you had a false positive, you would know. In addition, most good games with "bug" DRM had a very small percentage of said false positives. So I'd rather have "bug" DRM than "upfront" DRM because the former doesn't waste my time if I buy it. Though, of course, I'd rather have no "bug" DRM at all.
Earthbound had 2 layers of DRM (actually 5, but they can be conveniently blocked into two main categories.)

The first layer was the one that would tell you it was DRM and simply lock you out of the game. That took pirates literally zero time to get around, they already knew how to do it from other games. It's only purpose was region locking.

The second layer was the flags that would result in the bug DRM effect. It is true that it technically stood for years, but only because it was so ineffective that pirates simply did not know it was there. No one knew why certain roms of Earthbound were buggy, so they just used the other ones. It was only discovered that it even was DRM when someone started rooting around in the code of earthbound and figured out what was going on. Once it was discovered it took virtually no time to disable, but that didn't really matter because Earthbound had already been pirated for years.

Spyro: Year of the Dragon stood for 2 months. That had absolutely nothing to do with the Bug DRM effect. They essentially invented a new very clever DRM scheme. The problem is that now pirates know about that strategy they can defeat similar strategies very quickly. DRM similar to Spyro Year of the Dragon would probably only stand for hours now.

And the central point is still that bug DRM is a DRM effect, not a DRM detection method. Bug DRM detects in the exact same way as normal DRM. They are literally identical. If normal DRM would waste your time in any way so will bug DRM. The only possible difference is that you might get a false positive with bug DRM and not know it. Bug DRM can only increase the amount of time wasted by legitimate customers (by making it harder to know that there was a false positive,) it can never decrease it. For the same reason Bug DRM will have the same false positive rate. Because the bug DRM effect has absolutely nothing to do with detection. Bug DRM only has a low false positive report rate because when the game breaks people don't always know it is DRM. Disabling Bug DRM is the exact same process for pirates.

It is true that Spyro did give a "Pirated copy!" message (Earthbound did not for the bug DRM layer) but that is a rare exception to the rule. This is because if you give a pirated copy message then the pirates know they did not beat the DRM (and consumers would know for sure there was a false positive.)

Ultimately the only increase in security bug DRM gives is because they can make the DRM even more locked down than normal because they can afford dozens of times the normal amount of false positives because most people will never realize it is a false positive. And, even worse, those people who report a false positive to the game community almost always just get "You shouldn't have pirated the game, jackass" instead of help identifying the problem like they would under normal circumstances.
 

Strazdas

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May 28, 2011
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BigTuk said:
"We locked it but they broke the lock"

or

"We knew they'd break the lock so we didn't bother to close the door"


So rather than rage about DRM being ineffective and annoying. Well here's a thought, how do you suggest they protect their up to 30 million dollar investment? Bonus if it's something that will actually prevent piracy for more than 1 day and not inconvenience the user...
in reality it is:
we knew they were going to break it, so we spent 100000 dollars on a lock that we know does not work and patted outselves on the head.

or

we knew our lock does not work, so we didnt spend money on a broken product.

Sadly, shareholders dont live in reality.


Protect their investment? noone is taking the game away from them. They are protecting a legal monopoly on sale. a monopoly that is explicitly granted to them via current laws. and the answer is: you do this by making your consumers want to buy your products. you know, good PR, good service, that kinda thing. thats the ONLY thing that is going to give them sales.

DRM however does not increase their sales at all. if anything, it detriments it, for example i stopped buy ubisoft games when their broken DRM did not let me play AC2 while pirates played it fine.

Monsterfurby said:
As was stated: DRM per se is fine, but only if it is not implemented in a way that blocks or hurts the player's experience.
so, DRM is fine as long as it does not exist?

WarpedLord said:
While it's certainly true that it's LIKELY that a high percentage of pirated copies wouldn't translate to sales, it's more than a little intellectually dishonest to say that NONE of those copies would translate to sales. There are certainly people out there with the attitude of "Why buy what you can get for free?".

Of course, there's absolutely no way to know for sure, so like most "logical" arguments about piracy, this one's pointless.

(and please don't give me the tired old "it's not theft if it's not a physical object" crap. That's ridiculous and everyone knows it)
what studies have shown is that the peopel you mention are outnumbered by the people with attitude of "i tried this game i downloaded and want to support developer so more of this gets made". as in, people dont like buying cat in a bag, and demos no longer exist.

and its not theft because its defined by law as not theft.


nevarran said:
Well, that was my point. The not intrusive DRMs are not effective.

Actually as I think about it now, the Bioshock DRM was quite effective and I don't recall it being intrusive. A SecuROM, if I'm not mistaken. It was a new version, just by the time the game was launching. And it held like a month, before it was cracked. I personally know a few people, who bought the game, because they didn't wanted to wait for the crack.
SecuRom was one of the worst DRMs ever invented. half the users could not even play their games because the spyware it installedo n your computer to check for legallity did not actually work correctly. Bioshock was cracked on day 1. In fact i went and checked just for this. The game was released on August 21, 2007 in NA and lter elsewhere. Team FairLight has cracked and shared it on August 21, 2007, for whole world. Therefore, any nonamericans had it cracked more than a week BEFORE the official release. Securom has never given crackers any trouble.
(oh, and i would post proof, but i cant post links to illegal content obviously.)


DrOswald said:
That is why I said that it might be extremely annoying for people with different usage habits. I wasn't saying that everyone who dislikes it is wrong, only that it is not as bad as Weeping Angels made it out to be.
fair enough, there certainly are people who keep thier phones connect 24/7 and it would not be a problem for them. that is, until their servers fail to connect.
funny thing is, this morning before going to work i got a popup from stema saying that it failed to connect to steam servers. this seems to be getting quite frequent now it seems. yay for not being able to play steam games? If thats goign to happen when im on vacation and actually want to play a game then complaints are going to be made, since due to my coutnry laws i actually own any game i bought on steam.