Demigod: The Saga Continues

By Alec Meer on April 18th, 2009 at 2:01 pm.

As Jim alluded to in the comments thread for our Demigod discussion last week, one of the many interesting issues around writing for the web instead of for print is that a verdict passed on a game doesn’t have to stay static in the event that game’s problems improve/worsen. Demigod’s a fine example – if one of us had written it up on compressed tree-matter and shoved a number at the end, that number would reflect its enormous netcode screw-ups, and would sit as a faintly damning judgement upon it for all time (of course, damnable parasite-site Metacritic means that problem still exists for a lot of web stuff too).

While releasing a game that was problem-riddled in the first place is scarcely something that should be condoned, as GPG and Stardock (I’m becoming increasingly confused as to who’s really in charge of DG now) have been frantically racing to patch the thing up over the last week, such a judgement would already have been innacurate. Especially as it appears – oh dear – piracy may have significantly exacerbated DG’s multiplayer problems….

According to one of Stardock’s ongoing status reports about Demigod, “The system works pretty well if you have a few thousand people online at once. The system works…less well if there are tens of thousands of people online at once. And if there are over 100,000 people, well, you get horrific results such as the game being incredibly unresponsive due to simple web service calls that were considered pretty benign during the beta that suddenly start to bring down firewalls and such due to the sheer massive number of calls that are being made. Sadly, most of the ~120,000 connections are not customers but via warez. About 18,000 are legitimate.”

A result, it seems of Gamestop breaking Demigod’s street date early, and the DRM-free game rapidly showing up on slew of Torrent sites. Do bear in mind that copies without a valid serial number can’t actually play online, but that doesn’t stop them trying, attempting to download patches or the game polling them. And that’s key – every copy of Demigod, legit or otherwise, phones home – apparently as an update check. If that check wasn’t in there, apparently, the servers wouldn’t have been struggling so. So while the amount of pirated copies is causing the multiplayer problems, those problems mightn’t exist if Stardock/GPG hadn’t put that check in. That is, of course, presuming you take Stardock at their word as to why Demigod’s multiplayer was so torturous at release.

In a follow-up status report, we got more details:

The issue boiled down to us having put together a multiplayer infrastructure that was designed to handle around 50,000 or so connected users. If the game took off, we would simply add more servers as the load increased.

But what happened was that we ended up with 140,000 connected users, of which about 12% were actually legitimate customers. Now, the roughly 120,000 users that weren’t running legitimate copies of the game weren’t online playing multiplayer or anything. The issue with those users was as benign as a handful of HTTP calls that did things like check for updates and general server keep alive. Pretty trivial on its own until you have 120,000 of them. Then you have what amounts to a DDOS attack on yourself.

So the day 2 update we released basically made sure legitimate customers were no longer being affected by those users. As a side note, no we can’t just eliminate the infrastructure being used up by warez users because they’re running the unprotected retail version and we can’t make a distinction between retail and pirated since there’s no copy protection. It’s not a huge deal in the long run (except to our metacritic score), it was just an unexpected challenge that made day 1 a very bad multiplayer experience.

Another interesting element in the web vs print argy-bargy is that we now get this kind of transparency from developers/publishers – immediate word on exactly what’s happening with a troubled game, which can appease fans. Of course, the relies on the publisher/developer being prepared to be open and honest, rather than the cold, closed ranks and dismissive attitudes towards fans some outfits demonstrate.

Anyway, there’s King Fact – around 12% of Demigod’s first-week players were legitimate. As always, that doesn’t mean the other 88% are lost customers, but it’s forever startling to see these kind of numbers. More important, really, is the experience the genuine customers are having – have the couple of patches since launch fixed the multiplayer problems? What say you, faithful types? After a couple of days on the road I’ve not been able to stick my head in just yet, but hopefully it means Jim’s forthcoming full Wot I Think is finally all engines go…

While clearly piracy is the flashpoint to end all flashpoints on this site, do be grown-ups and human beings as you debate this in comments.

Oh, and if you want the more personal touch, here’s Stardock’s Brad Wardell recording a video diary for IGN wherein he looks into and explains the launch problems:

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156 Comments »

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  1. verspunken says:

    No, the patches haven’t fixed multiplayer completely. In fact the NAT server has been down for the last 9 hours or so, so there are no games at all. A few people have resorted to using Hamachi and other lan emulators to get around the network problems, to varying degrees of success.

    It is an awesome game when you actually get to play – just completely borked at present.

  2. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I’m sure a lot of people who are pirating would say they are ‘just trying it out’.. but isn’t that why there are demos? Now, I’m not sure if there is a demigod demo, but I suspect (not verified by facts, just my thought) in such a situation a pretty large percentage will keep on playing the game for a decent amount of time using the pirated version. A similar large group will discard it after a short while, and a smaller group will actually go out and purchase.

    I see it all the time.. whether it be movies, music or games, when people can easily get things for free a lot of people will have no compunctions about taking part in piracy. And will often discard any notions about it having a serious impact and that they buy the things they really value.

    Bleh. Sorry, I didn’t intend for this to turn into a piracy debate.

  3. Morberis says:

    I’m going to say “kinda’. You can now fairly painlessly get into a match with strangers. A pre-arranged group on the other hand is another story. Usually what seems to happen there is people can get into the lobby – so they’ve connected with everyone – but once they get there they either aren’t connected to someone or their ping to that person is 0. All of which means you can’t start the match until they leave, rejoin, and check to see if they are connected again. If not you can try changing hosts be remaking the game and then you rinse and repeat.

    However Brad Wardell has a post (link below) saying that they have know about the problem and they’ll try to have a patch out in a few days. He also talks about the remaining issues people are having with the game.

    http://forums.demigodthegame.com/347467

  4. Morberis says:

    Update!

    You can also use Demigod with the excellent 4d party game matching service “Game Ranger” which should eliminate alot of the networking problems from what I’m hearing. We’ll see.

  5. BooleanBob says:

    Inb4 piracy threadwar. Ugh, the day I start slipping chanisms into everyday conversation is the day I learn how to tie a noose.

    That said, I would like to see how Randall (to select a strawman figurehead at pretty much random) and his anti-copyright/pro-piracy gang struggle to justify such behaviour in light of this kind of ‘no-win’ scenario where everyone gets screwed over. Not just the devs, not just paying customers, but even – gasp! – those [people – edit it back to flame-starting again and the whole comment gets wiped – RPS] who’ll argue ’til they’re blue in the face that there’s nothing immoral about their gratis fuckoff software library because you can’t prove it translates to lost sales.

  6. Heliocentric says:

    The percentage of pirates would be lower with a release day demo. The demo could have been single player only.

    Just sayin.

  7. Senethro says:

    Ah, pirates damage a service they’re not entitled to use through insufficient security.

    Perhaps DRM can be a good thing?

  8. Lobotomist says:

    Yes. Lets blame it on piracy again.

    “We can handle people playing online. But we can not handle clients pinging (once) to see if there is an update.”

    Damn those pirates

  9. [I promise not to link to warez sites in my username anymore] says:

    Ok you all need to get this straight. Pirates are not able to play legit online. This is all because Stardock is querying everybody when they simply execute the game, for updates and whatnot. It’s their own fault! Kind of annoyed at how every blog in the land is so ignorant! I mean seriously, I wouldn’t be here right now if I could play legit Demigod. No. I have to buy the goddam thing… Buy demigod or save for better hardware so I can buy red faction guerrilla. Oh the dilemma !

  10. Morberis says:

    3rd*

  11. cowthief skank says:

    Regardless of whether the pirates can actually play a game or not the numbers are pretty damning.

  12. BooleanBob says:

    I am editing this expression of remorse in an attempt to reassert my control over the situation. I am unsure as to whether I have learned anything.

  13. dsmart says:

    This is yet another classic example of why – all these years – most people with two brain cells have pretty much ignored Brad’s “NO DRM” ramblings.

    Don’t get me wrong, as a dev, I can appreciate the notion of always trying to be one step ahead of the game but the fact is that most people in general are inherently bad and cannot be trusted. Period. End of story.

    That said, to assume that a “no DRM” (which is bullshit and a misnomer to boot) mantra is going to change or do anything is the sort of naive thinking that does nothing but treat gamers like idiots.

    Impulse (and their first failed attempt, TotalGaming.net) uses DRM. No matter how u slice or dice it. If the game – out of the box – or in ESD (Electronic Service Distribution) form requires ANY sort of authentication, thats what DRM (Digital Rights Management) means.

    Most people lapping up this shit, have no farking clue what DRM even means. So in between the mouth frothing about DRM, everyone thinks if its not SecuROM, Starforce, SafeDisc or Tages, then its not DRM. What utter bullshit.

    Now you have a case where – once again – DRM (Impulse Driven) has deprived legit PC gamers from enjoying their product to the full extent of what they paid for.

    But the argument would have ended there if it was all about pirates bringing the network down. However, it doesn’t. The netcode in Demigods is still the same half-baked rubbish GPG have had in ALL their games. Regardless of who wrote it, a P2P network will not work for most games, even if the intent is to cut down on bandwidth. In this day and age of broadband, why would even bother about bandwidth for a game that only allows a VERY SMALL number of clients in multiplayer, is beyond me. Thats why – the rest of us out here – go with a pure UDP (with “guaranteed send” flags) client/server architecture which is more robust and fault tolerant.

    Yes, the game is going to fail to meet expectations, not because of pirates, netcode or anything – but because in general, GPG games are lifeless, souless repetitive stress inducing lessons in hype, flash and emptiness. My guess is you will never – ever – see Brad come out in a few months and sing the praises of it selling 500K units because they don’t use DRM. Mark my words.

    The reasons that SiNS did so well – for an indie product – is because the game was well put together, patently flawless in its execution and was dirt cheap to make. Also, at the time of release, there was a dearth of those type of space RTS games – and which have been missing in the market (Space Siege was rubbish. Which is one of the reasons why it failed) for so long. So amidst all the clones and crappy releases, SiNs was well timed. Comparing SiNs to DG is like comparing GTAIV to Saints Row 2. I think.

    If PC gaming is to continue, we need some form of non-intrusive, gamer friendly DRM.

    PC gaming at retail is as good as dead. Heck, even the retailers are now saying that if a PC game is prices more than $19.99, then it had better have one helluva marketing expense behind it. Then, like with Target, you have to PAY for shelf space in EACH store that you want the title to be sold in.

    Further, the retailers (of which there are only four main ones left here in the US) are pretty much over and done with PC games because there is no resale value in it and thus no money in it for them when compared to the killing they make on console games. Heck get this, Best Buy is now requiring a piece of the action for any PC product with a subscription. Why? Because they want to own that customer. Which is why you no longer see the likes of McAfee in there. And before long, others will follow suit. Retailers are getting greedy and desperate and the extortionist type antics are getting even more creative as each day goes by. Why? Because they’re all freaking out over ESD in the software space. Plus, they can get away with it because as it stands, retail space still beats ESD for certain markets. But not for long.

    So ESD is going to be the only place to find PC games in the coming years. Which is why ESD is booming now. And with that, all the more reason to have a robust DRM scheme in place because as with all digital goods, if people can steal it – from the comfort of their homes – they will.

  14. Garg says:

    I hope they sort out the problems with Demigod; it looks stompy, and thus great. And the multiplayer in Demigod still sounds a hell of a lot better than the inbuilt Gamespy crap that was in the original Dawn of War.

  15. Stuk says:

    Fantastic comment Derek, and I agree with pretty much all of it (although the “most people in general are inherently bad and cannot be trusted” is quite hard to swallow. I think this applies to internet, where people are mostly just aliases, but hopefully not so much in the “real world”).

    While, until recently, I’ve been thinking that DRM is bad, there is no doubt that there has to be something to stop those damn dirty pirates.

  16. RPS says:

    Deletotron has feasted a few times in this thread already. Be gentlemen, gentlemen.

  17. Zarniwoop says:

    The only form of DRM which has ever ‘worked’ to any degree is Steam. Devise a way of accurately measuring the piracy of YOUR game when it is released, and then say all that.

  18. Gorgeras says:

    No, most people ignored his ramblings because they just wanted to. The excuses come afterwards.

    The problem was there has been no demo.

    There has been no demo because of an unexpected early release.

    This was caused by Gamestop being tarded.

    See how simple that is? The only reason to perform mental gymnastics over this is to find an excuse to justify a presupposed point of view.

    And isn’t some “non-intrusive, gamer friendly DRM” exactly what Stardock has actually called for? The only context in which I’ve heard “No DRM” is something like “Either make DRM friendly or don’t have it at all”.

  19. Nick says:

    Deletotron should take a look at NuZZ’s name link.

  20. jalf says:

    I’m sure a lot of people who are pirating would say they are ‘just trying it out’.. but isn’t that why there are demos?

    But demos often aren’t representative. This isn’t an argument for or against piracy as “trying it out”, but simply an observation. A demo often doesn’t tell us anything about the game. ETW’s demo consisted of two predesigned battles. The campaign, which is what makes the series unique, was just not there.

    The DoW2 demo does not feature multiplayer *or* coop. What’s the point then? Yes, the singleplayer campaign is still good fun, but they’re hiding the *real* reasons why the game stands out.

    If I didn’t already own both of these games, if I wanted to check them out, the demos would probably not have got me hooked. But if I’d pirated them, I’d have gotten to see how fun both games actually are. Actually, that’s how I got into the TW games in the first place. I downloaded MTW “just to check it out”, and….. played it nonstop for the next month. Then I went out to buy it, and played it nonstop for another 2 months…… ;)

    I’ll probably get flamed for bringing it up again, but Braid’s demo is another example. As amazing as the game probably is, the demo gives the impression of a fairly standard platformer, with stiff writing, and a pretty tame gameplay gimmick thrown in.

    You are right, “trying it out” is what demos are for. But unfortunately, they often don’t do a very good job of it, and piracy may (from the consumer’s point of view, at least) solve the problem much better.

    Now, about Demigod, one thing I want to point out here is that Stardock dropped the ball. Querying for authorization and patching should not go to the same servers that handle the actual game. By apparently melding everything together on the server-side, they *allow* pirates who are basically just pinging for the latest patch, to bring down the whole thing. That is simply dumb. Of course it wouldn’t have been an issue if the game hadn’t been pirated, but it shouldn’t have been an issue in any case. At worst, it should have killed the patching/authorization servers, but never ever the actual game servers.

    And finally, there’s no reason to suspect that adding (regular) DRM would have changed anything. It just has to be cracked once, remember? If so many people wanted to play the game for free, they’d have done so. (Of course, technically, there is DRM in Demigod. They were able to detect pirates and prevent them from playing, after all)

    @BooleanBob: Strawman indeed. Randall, XKCD or anyone else who despise DRM have nothing to do with this debacle, *nor* does he or other anti-DRM people claim that “there is nothing wrong with pirating software”. I’m glad you admitted it’s a strawman.

  21. Frosty840 says:

    I have to agree with Derek, here, to some extent. If Impulse are claiming on the one hand that there’s “no DRM” and on the other that they able to prevent over 100,000 people from playing the game (100,000 pirates yes, but that’s the point), then there’s Digital Rights Management in the game. The “rights” of the pirates to play the game have been “digitally managed” into the “off” position. That they didn’t purchase said rights in the first place is immaterial to the fact that their rights have been managed… digitally…

    I still have problems with various brands of DRM, because frankly all Starforce does is prevent my PC from reading the goddamn discs at all. The drive shows up as being empty, I usually manage to install Starforce-“protected” software by setting up another PC’s DVD drive as a shared folder and installing from there. And because the disc won’t register as being physically present in the PC, I end up cracking the software anyway, once I’ve gone through all that idiocy to get it onto the PC at all.
    No benefit to the customer, no benefit to the publisher, all benefit to Starforce, who get paid to ship broken product.

    Didn’t really have anywhere to go with this comment, so I’ll stop.

  22. (fish) says:

    For anyone who cares, hamachi seems to play the game quite well. I havent tried the gameranger thing but i hear people are getting good results with that too.

  23. kr8 says:

    I agree with dsmart except about everything he said about DRM. You’ll never win customers by screwing over your customers. Steam is about the worst they’re willing to accept and personally I’m still hoping politicians will fill in some of the gaps for me (no resale/transfer of games? wtf is that about?).

    But anyway, the “wow huge piracy” people are forgetting that the game wasn’t out yet. People who read online it got leaked probably flocked to it in droves, causing a fairly big number skew. It’d be interesting to see what the numbers are in 6 months though.

  24. Hoernchen says:

    I’m sure it was completely impossible to anticipate piracy. Doh.
    It completely eludes me how piracy is supposed to affect a “multiplayer only” game like Demigod, there is about as much singleplayer content as in Battlefield 1942/2 so people who actually want to play it will have to buy it anyway. Oh, wait, except in the case of insufficient server capacity to be able to handle all the pirates which were coerced into downloading the game by the promise of incredible singleplayer content.

  25. Steve says:

    The description of how they managed to essentially cripple their own servers through horrible decisions seems like a remarkable act of stupidity. Hopefully it’ll be fully sorted soon, was giving some thought to picking this up.

    As for PC games going digital only, I really hope that never happens. I like having a box on my shelf with an honest-to-goodness manual and disc in. Although the shelf space I need now is getting a bit excessive.

  26. Premium User Badge

    c-Row says:

    If PC gaming is to continue, we need some form of non-intrusive, gamer friendly DRM.

    Subsciption-based games? I don’t think WOW or Eve Online suffer from piracy that much, or at least it’s numbers are insignificant compared to the amount of willing-to-pay customers.

  27. bansama says:

    I’m still waiting for a demo for this game before passing any judgment on it. Especially having read about the problems with Comodo. I certainly won’t drop 4000+ yen down on it until I know for sure that I won’t have to cripple features of Comodo I’d rather have running.

  28. jackflash says:

    Come on, people. This whole “there was no demo so I had to get the warez copy” argument is disingenuous at best. I’m so tired of it being shoveled like shit over and over again on every gaming forum.

    Have you not heard of the amazing concept of “waiting”? That is, you do not play the game until there is a demo available? It’s new, and hot off the presses, I know, but try it! Be inconvenienced for a few weeks. Go get a job so you don’t have to bitch and moan about spending $40 – ($40! This hasn’t been a significant amount of money since I was 12!) – on a computer game. If that’s too hard for you, go flirt with a girl and give up a pastime it appears you can’t afford.

    And the lack of a demo had nothing to do with Gamestop’s early release. The release came a weekend early. Stardock has been clear that there wouldn’t be a demo until a few weeks after release. It was the same with Sins. They don’t have the resources to finish the game and cut it up into a demo at the same time. Either buy it based on your faith in the developer and the early reviews (as I did with Sins) or wait to try it on the demo. This whole “it’s Stardock’s fault for not having a demo, they MAAADE me do it!” is utter bullshit and you know it.

  29. Theory says:

    So, anyone seen a “Lack of DRM brings down Stardock game” headline yet?

    (also, how exactly did they resolve this situation if they can’t tell pirates’ requests from buyers’?)

  30. jalf says:

    @jackflash: Who in this thread said “there was no demo so I had to get the warez copy”?

  31. Senethro says:

    Now heres something you rarely hear about. How do prices in yen for retail and downloads compare to dollars? Do you get better or worse deals than Europe?

  32. jackflash says:

    @Hoernchen :

    “Oh, wait, except in the case of insufficient server capacity to be able to handle all the pirates which were coerced into downloading the game by the promise of incredible singleplayer content.”

    Do you have any idea how silly this sounds? You’re talking about the producer of a product *coercing* somebody into stealing their game by saying it’s good? Oh I keep forgetting – the pirates are the victims, here.

  33. Premium User Badge

    c-Row says:

    Have you not heard of the amazing concept of “waiting”? That is, you do not play the game until there is a demo available?

    *waits for links to Fallout 3 and GTA IV demos*

  34. blacktick says:

    @ Stuk

    No,most people in general are evil(requires definition though) and cannot be trusted,that doesn’t apply just the internet.
    It’s a cynical but a realistic approach to life,never trust anyone you don’t know. :)

    @ dsmart
    Very good post indeed. :)

    This whole demigod discussion got out of hand. the 100 000 “pirates” were non updated and pirated versions pinging simulatinously as I gathered.
    Plus it’s only been few weeks,the industry and media expecting game to sell hundeads of thousands to millions in the first week or so is unrealistic unless the game is hyped to death like gta or some other franchise.

    @ Jackflash
    And do you know how impatient people are? everything must be now and they only wait if there is no other choice or their financial situation doesn’t allow any more spending.
    I wouldn’t actually pay more than 20-30 USD/euros for games these days anyway. 40(52 USD) € is asking too much and here 50 € is a total f*cking rip off. luckily there is play.com and weekend deals on GG and steam.

  35. Psychopomp says:

    @NuZZ
    We might listen to you, if you had made the mistake of leaving that link on your name.

  36. Tei says:

    LIES

    The game netcode was this bad in beta.

  37. bansama says:

    Come on, people. This whole “there was no demo so I had to get the warez copy” argument is disingenuous at best. I’m so tired of it being shoveled like shit over and over again on every gaming forum.

    As much as you, I and probably most others hate it, pirates just love to justify their illegal actions however they can. Such as, “I pirated it because I hate the DRM”, “I pirated it because I hate the publisher/developer”, “I pirated it because I can’t afford to buy it (but I deserve to play it right now!!!)” and so on.

    They simply cannot face up to the very truth of the matter – they pirated it for no other reason than they wanted to get it for free.

    As far as the claim of pirating a game because there is no demo, people obviously do it. Taking the case of Defense Grid, once they got their demo out, they did see a drop in the amount of piracy (although how they monitored the rate is unknown). So perhaps there is some truth in the belief that getting a day 0 demo (or even pre-release demo) out there can help cut down on piracy.

    What I would really like to see though, is a real full scale independent study into the ACTUAL affects of piracy. But what are the chances of such study being performed? Probably about the same as all pirates suddenly stopping what they do simultaneously. Ah well, we can but dream.

  38. chequers says:

    I think stardock will do what they always do and after a few weeks and some patches the most painful issues with this game will be fixed.

    However, the fact they have chosen to go with UDP P2P tech instead of client/server like other games means there will be a significant (10%? 25%?) proportion of people who want to play who will just never be able to. There will be some proportion of people who even the best NAT traversal will fail for, and some proportion of those won’t be capable of port forwarding manually.
    For a game that’s basically 100% multiplayer (like q3) that worries me a lot.

  39. dsmart says:

    No, most people ignored his ramblings because they just wanted to. The excuses come afterwards.

    The problem was there has been no demo.

    There has been no demo because of an unexpected early release.

    This was caused by Gamestop being tarded.

    See how simple that is? The only reason to perform mental gymnastics over this is to find an excuse to justify a presupposed point of view.

    And isn’t some “non-intrusive, gamer friendly DRM” exactly what Stardock has actually called for? The only context in which I’ve heard “No DRM” is something like “Either make DRM friendly or don’t have it at all”.

    No, its not simple. Its rubbish. Simply.

    1. Not having a demo is not an excuse to pirate a game, just to have a look see

    2. The Gamestop street date makes NO difference to the state of a demo. You don’t throw a demo together in a matter of days. Are you KIDDING me?

    3. If there is a key required – whether offline or online – it is a form of DRM. What has happened in this DG case is that this “DRM” has – just like SecuROM, Tages, Starforce etc – deprived legit gamers from using the product they PAID for.

    Stardock has been doing online authentication products for DECADES. Going all the way back to the OS2 days. So this is not some revelation that if you made a stupid decision that its going to come back an bite you in the ass.

    And this thing about NAT and DSL? Rubbish. Any half-wit network programmers knows how to get around it. No need to mess with routers, port forwarding or anything like that.

    There are people even on Hamachi, Leaf and Game Ranger, having netcode problems still. That has nothing to do with DRM.

    Plus, now that the pirates have figured out that they can actually play multiplayer without going through Stardock’s auth network, it goes downhill from here. So of course things are going to pick up on their network now that the pirates have gone off an found alternate forms of playing online. So much for that.

    The end result is that a “No DRM” game would not have required ANY authentication whatsoever. And as such, this problem would NEVER have happened in
    the first place.

    So, anyone seen a “Lack of DRM brings down Stardock game” headline yet?

    Yes. Lots. Try Google.

  40. DK says:

    Aren’t you forgetting the bigger issue here? The new-age software pirates should find themselves a new name, since the real nautical pirates are back in business. Where’s your peglegs and parrots, software-would-be-pirates?

  41. Tei says:

    “There will be some proportion of people who even the best NAT traversal will fail for, and some proportion of those won’t be capable of port forwarding manually.”

    Interesting!!! What ports need this game? I would love to add then to my firewall.

  42. root says:

    I think Hmm-Hmm (at the top) has the right idea.

    This game was built and released with the understanding that it would be widely pirated. Instead of impotently attempting to stop it, they embraced it and are using it to their advantage.

    The people that torrented the game, and like it, will buy it for the online play and the DLC, the others will be content to play vs. AI or uninstall.

  43. Rei Onryou says:

    A Demigod demo could’ve been easily released. You take 1 Assassin demigod, 1 General demigod and 2 levels (a 1vs1 and a 3vs3). The levels can be played singleplayer (campaign or skirmish, I don’t even think it matters) and multiplayer. The long term perk system is disabled for demo users.

    All that stuff already exists for a demo. A day 0 demo would have at least given them an idea of server requirements so they could ramp it up for release if needed.

    The least they could do now is sue GameStop for making the situation so apparent. There would’ve been net code issues and rampant piracy anyway, but they may as well pass off some of the blame. They had to work on the Easter weekend fer crikes sake!

  44. joe says:

    i always pirate every game and play it for 5 minutes to 2 hours to see if it’s worth buying. if i can tell it’s good i go ahead and buy it. more often it’s immediately obvious that it’s not for me and i saved $50 (HAWX was a good example of this).

    i did download a pirate copy of DG but i could tell right away it was a good game. i will be buying demigod.

  45. Tei says:

    I see some erroneous comments on this thread.

    First DRM !== copy protection. A DRM system is a tool to extend the control of the author over the product, removing freedom from the owner of the copy. A copy protection system, is just a system to make a copy limited to one user, and stop him from making copys that work for other people.

    DRM is ethically bad, Copy Protection is OK (other than backup copies.. that is a problem)
    Limiting the creating of copys of a product is just ONE of the much things you can do with DRM.

    2TH: The “DRM” that today games include, is designed to stop casual piracy, people that make a copy for brothers or friends. It don’t stop hardcore pirates…. hours of days before release, any game with or withouth “DRM” is on the warez sites. “DRM” can’t stop a game from having “100.000” copys everywhere, because a game with DRM will be hacked and put on the warez networks.

    We can’t stop piracy. Is something imposible in a digital world. We have to live with it. People that want to pay for games (like I do) will buy then, and other people will just piracy it. You can’t make the freebies to buy the game. Not all, all least, thats a pipe dream. A demo will probably make some buyers stay away from your game, and get others, If your game suck, It will make more stay away than come.

    (note: I hate that my english is soo horrible bad)

  46. Larington says:

    “most people in general are inherently bad and cannot be trusted”

    Yeah, around 90 percent of them, give or take 5%. I feel proud to call myself one of the 10%.

    Also, please-god-don’t-let-the-OnLive-business-model-takeover. Doesn’t surprise me that retail would be getting more desparate, they are facing the threat of having to re-invent their business model due to the take-over of new distribution systems… Fear is driving them to acts that will alienate development & publishing sides of the industry.

  47. Ging says:

    @Theory: Players without valid serial keys cannot get updates, so they’ve released an update that makes valid clients use a different set of servers for update checks and the like. Pirated (and non-updated) versions are reduced to all using a single server that doesn’t push updates or provide anything else.

  48. Theory says:

    Instead of impotently attempting to stop [piracy], they embraced it and are using it to their advantage. The people that torrented the game, and like it, will buy it for the online play and the DLC, the others will be content to play vs. AI or uninstall.

    You mean just like every other SP+MP game ever made?
    I really don’t follow your argument.

  49. Xercies says:

    @c-Row

    They work for MMOs, but try making people pay monthly for a singleplayer game and you’ll have a riot on your hands. And also even some people don’t like paying monthly for MMOs so I don’t think it will work to be honest. But it probably would stop piracy.

  50. Larington says:

    I’m not so worried about the people who are willing to come onto message boards/the open and say they pirate games to try them and can honestly claim they pick up the games they really like.

    I’m far more concerned about the silent majority, who don’t care what people think and don’t feel the need to justify their actions, nor even consider the idea of visiting message boards and discovering the level of disgust at their behaviour. These are the people who are most harmful to the industry, they take and take and take and don’t even consider paying for what they’ve taken. They don’t buy games even if they absolutely love to, because they don’t have to pay for them, so they won’t.