Ubi Service Outage Compensation

By Jim Rossignol on March 26th, 2010 at 3:29 pm.


Ubisoft seem to be compensating players for the outage to their sadface-inducing “always on” DRM service, which rendered some folk unable to play Assassin’s Creed 2 and Silent Hunter V for periods of time since release. Apparently Silent Hunter V players have been offered Shaun White Snowboarding or Prince of Persia as a digital download in an email which was sent out over the last couple of days. Evidence of Assassin’s Creed 2 compensation here, via BluesNews.

I’m guessing the free games don’t have always-on DRM included.

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126 Comments »

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  1. Javier-de-Ass says:

    they are of the limited gamesplanet/metaboli variety however

    • Bonedwarf says:

      “Oh sorry, loyal customer, we stabbed you repeatedly. Here, have a bandaid…”

    • Crispy says:

      If you’re a Ubi staff member you can by the PC versions of those games for a miniscule amount (~£1). When you realise this, their ‘compensation’ is actually quite insulting. It should be more in line with ‘£25% off any title bought direct’, but in all honesty most buyers won’t have even noticed, certainly won’t be complaining and will forgive all for two free games. This is less of a bandaid and more of a muffling device drenched in chloroform.

      “Shhhh, paying customer. That’s right it’s time to go to sleep now…”

  2. Michael says:

    I think I read somewhere that Ubi gave better selections (er, Endwar/HAWX/Prince of Persia/something else) to special edition customers, while normal customers were offered the content that came with the special edition (Black edition, i think?). Which is rather pathetic. Regardless of what was offered, the new DRM scheme is the devil.

  3. Hmm says:

    But… but… Ubisoft treats PC gamers like pirates, they’re EVIL, unlike wonderful, beloved Valve, who told every PC gamer he’s a potential pirate the moment they announced HL2 would require an internet connection to “activate” the game and download lots of data, thus telling numerous legitimate customers to kiss themselves back in 2004.
    Did Valve ever apologize to anyone for making HL2 unplayable for like, a week? Nope. But they’re so cool, unlike Ubisoft, who are evil. EVIL.

    • Skurmedel says:

      So you think that is comparable? I think Steams offline mode could be more generous as well, but I can use Steam on my crappy 3G connection, this is out of the question.

    • Vinraith says:

      Steam sucks, Ubi’s DRM sucks much, much worse. The insistence of some people in drawing false equivalences like this makes it all the more difficult to have a reasonable, rational discussion about the disadvantages of Steam. Shrill irrational hatred is no more sensible or productive than shrill irrational apologism.

    • Samuel Bigos says:

      Steam has no disadvantages.

    • battles_atlas says:

      Steam is largely great – unobtrusive, pretty reliable, good networking, good sales (even if standard prices are OTT), and removes need for a disc in the drive. Its DRM I have no problem with because its offers plenty of benefits and the costs are small (exceptions like the stupid delayed release of MW2 are just that – exceptions). Its also not incidental that Steam supports Valve financially, and Valve are one of the few independantly minded, PC-centric devs left.

      Ubisoft’s system offer no benefits and the costs are large. And Ubi themselves are nothing-but-the-bottom-line pricks.

      The comparison is dumb.

    • Wulf says:

      Samuel is right.

      I mean, I’ve played in offline mode for weeks, how much more generous does it need to be?! “Oh, my X number of weeks is up, I need to quickly logon and then go into offline mode again.”

      It’s just startling how unreasonable some people are about this, and what Vinraith said makes sense, because waving our arms and screaming about a benevolent system like Steam makes us look like frothing crazies. Let’s stop that. Let’s stop that right now. Please? Thank you.

      I mean, the people going on make gamers look like raving, paranoid idiots, and raving, paranoid idiots aren’t at all credible, not even slightly. It bugs me really because I get bunched in with the raving, paranoid idiots simply because I’m a gamer. That’s stupid too, but the corporations are stupid, so we need to convince them by being intelligent.

      Steam is fine, it has a functional offline mode, and it’s nothing at all like Ubisoft’s crazy always-on DRM. Please stop with the false correlations, because that only hurts the position of every gamer. Aluminium hats off, eh?

    • Hmm says:

      @battles_atlas
      “Steam is largely great – unobtrusive”

      According to who? You?

      “pretty reliable, good networking”

      “Creating local cache files” for eternity on slow connection preventing a game from being installed even, “servers too busy” whenever ANY game launches, faulty offline mode, stupid client running in the background. Awesome.

      “good sales (even if standard prices are OTT)”

      Who gives a crap? I buy a retail version of a game and have to install Steam for some reason, what does that have to do with weekend sales or whatever? I DON’T CARE.

      “and removes need for a disc in the drive.”

      THANK YOU, VALVE! It’s so amazing, it’s not like lots of people don’t care or a simple patch could not achieve this.

      “Its DRM I have no problem with because its offers plenty of benefits and the costs are small (exceptions like the stupid delayed release of MW2 are just that – exceptions). ”

      I always laugh whenever I hear about Steam offering any “benefits”. Steam overlay and “community features” don’t change a single thing, if they make you feel better – good for you.

      “Its also not incidental that Steam supports Valve financially, and Valve are one of the few independantly minded, PC-centric devs left.”

      PC-centric? You’re joking, delusional or being naive, they’re a multiplatform developer right now with xbox360 being their priority.

      “Ubisoft’s system offer no benefits and the costs are large. And Ubi themselves are nothing-but-the-bottom-line pricks.”

      See? Ubisoft=evil. Valve=good guys. You chose to think this way.
      Ubi’s system has benefits – no DVD in the drive, offline installation, no third-party client, optional cloud saving, auto-updating. Sounds similar to Steam, right?

      “The comparison is dumb.”

      It isn’t.
      You need to realize that PC games are pirated to hell and back, especially single player ones. MMOs and multiplayer-oriented games is what still continues to sell, because pirating these is very difficult. If so many gamers are online 24/7 anyway and are comfortable with being online to torrent games left and right, Ubi’s DRM isn’t intrusive in the slightest.
      PC gamers have been asking for it for years by “downloading everything for free”, Valve paved the way with Steam (which was boycotted just as much and caused an uproar back in the day), Ubisoft merely took the next step. Blame pirates, they made the things worse for everyone. No, it’s not an excuse. Not a single person in my neighbourhood buys PC games, everyone pirates them, because they’re “free”. It’s obvious the situation is exactly the same everywhere else.

      At least Ubisoft is trying to make their PC business viable again, can you blame them for that? They could have chosen to do the same thing as Epic, focus on consoles completely. None would want that to happen, except short-sighted, ignorant pricks who refuse to notice everyone has been abandoning the PC of late, pricks convinced piracy is “an excuse or a conspiracy”.

    • subedii says:

      You need to realize that PC games are pirated to hell and back, especially single player ones. MMOs and multiplayer-oriented games is what still continues to sell, because pirating these is very difficult. If so many gamers are online 24/7 anyway and are comfortable with being online to torrent games left and right, Ubi’s DRM isn’t intrusive in the slightest.
      PC gamers have been asking for it for years by “downloading everything for free”, Valve paved the way with Steam (which was boycotted just as much and caused an uproar back in the day), Ubisoft merely took the next step. Blame pirates, they made the things worse for everyone. No, it’s not an excuse. Not a single person in my neighbourhood buys PC games, everyone pirates them, because they’re “free”. It’s obvious the situation is exactly the same everywhere else.

      At least Ubisoft is trying to make their PC business viable again, can you blame them for that? They could have chosen to do the same thing as Epic, focus on consoles completely. None would want that to happen, except short-sighted, ignorant pricks who refuse to notice everyone has been abandoning the PC of late, pricks convinced piracy is “an excuse or a conspiracy”.

      Uh, yeah I’m going to chime in with everyone else here and say drop the frothing rage and false equivocation.

      You talk about how the evil PC gamers brought this upon themselves and how Ubisoft are only making the right decision to make their sales viable. In a world where Steam exists at all as it currently does (let alone DRM free systems like GOG,com), and one where games like BFBC2 (a port of a console branch of the franchise and whose original release never made it to the PC) are being played more than their console counterparts, I’m going to call bull. Or for that matter, a world where Bioware can release Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2 WITHOUT online verification (and this is something that came with Mass Effect 1), and even outright state that it was because of how they tailored their games to the PC market that they did so well. Those are inexplicable occurrences in a world that supposedly MUST have DRM of the form that Ubisoft has taken. You were talking about how Ubisoft only takes these measures to make their business model on the PC viable, how is it possible that Bioware’s business model is in any way viable then without these measures?

      But still, let’s look at the claim that this is in order to tackle piracy, because it’s an important one. So the question now becomes “Is this measure a more effective means of combating piracy than previous methods”? The answer is unfortunately still no, and you can go to any torrent site and check that out for yourself. The problem then arises, you scream and shout about THE EVIL PC GAMERSSS!!! Pirating everything, but here’s the question: Is it the pirates that are affected by this DRM? Or is it the purchasers? Because last I checked, Ubisoft isn’t having to give out free games to ANYONE ELSE in order to calm the rage over the fact that people are STILL having problems connecting to the Ubisoft servers to verify (go ahead and visit the subsim forums or the Silent Hunter 5 forums if you don’t believe me). So net result? Pirates: Unhindered, legitimate purchasers: problems. So yes, I will happily blame Ubisoft for this measure, it’s a meaningless one that they didn’t need to take and which does not solve the problems it’s ostensibly supposed to tackle, all whilst hindering people that were actually loyal enough to purchase the game instead of pirating it. That is backwards. And in particular with a small hardcore community like the SH community, it’s a potentially devastating one for any future products. The Silent Hunter series has survived for decades by catering to its small hardcore audience, and yet something like this has the power to threaten that simply through alienating its core userbase.

      As for the last quote about how we’re pricks saying piracy doesn’t exist. I’ll happily say it does and that it’s a huge issue. THIS, however, does nothing to solve it, which is kind of the problem.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Samuel

      Steam has no disadvantages.

      Steam IS a disadvantage. It gets between you and your games, takes control of them away from you, and turns them into a service instead of a product. This is bad. As a trend, it’s very bad, and it’s what leads to insanity like Ubisoft’s new DRM scheme. Make no mistake, Ubi’s DRM is simply an evolution of Steam, and exists precisely because of how widely Steam is accepted.

      All that said, again, the comparison is bunk. While the two are very clearly related, it’s also obvious just how much worse Ubi’s DRM is. No offline mode, no or limited control over your save games, constant connection needed to ensure smooth gameplay, it’s downright intellectually dishonest to say that’s the same as Steam which at least has a sometimes-functional offline mode and only requires an internet check-in to start up. It destroys any chance at debate or discussion to do that, and as Wulf says just serves to make us look like crazy people.

      Games as a service is a bad idea for the customer, whether it takes the form of the relatively innocuous Steam or the in-your-face-terrible Ubi DRM, but we can’t even have a discussion about the issue if both sides aren’t willing to approach the whole thing with a modicum of rationality.

    • battles_atlas says:

      @Hmm
      ““Steam is largely great – unobtrusive”

      According to who? You? ”

      No of course not. Before any post on a message board, I commission several focus groups and a large stated preference survey. Otherwise how could I claim to represent the views of humankind when expressing my personal opinions?

      The busy servers when big new releases appear is highly annoying I grant you, hence why I said ‘fairly reliable’. Other than that point, I couldn’t help noticing there was a lot of rambling crap in your post.

      “Steam’s community aspects don’t change a single thing”

      Well if you have no friends, I guess that’s true.

      “they’re a multiplatform developer right now with xbox360 being their priority.”

      That will explain all the consolified and xbox-only games they’ve released in their rather glorious history I guess.

      “See? Ubisoft=evil. Valve=good guys. You chose to think this way.”

      Wow its hard to respond to brilliant lines like this without recourse to sarcasm. What distinction between us are you trying to make here – that you don’t choose to think?

      “Ubi’s system has benefits – no DVD in the drive, offline installation, no third-party client, optional cloud saving, auto-updating. Sounds similar to Steam, right?”

      Except that Steam doesnt have an permanent server connection requirement, which is what the whole issue around Ubi DRM is, and is what this story is about. Pay attention.

      “If so many gamers are online 24/7 anyway and are comfortable with being online to torrent games left and right, Ubi’s DRM isn’t intrusive in the slightest.”

      This is the crux of your defence? An entirely spurious connection? When did torrents require you to be always connected to a particular server when using the product you downloaded? Never. So well done raising the point that Ubi’s DRM is tangibly worse than the illegal free option it is trying to replace.

    • DoucheMullet says:

      “PC-centric? You’re joking, delusional or being naive, they’re a multiplatform developer right now with xbox360 being their priority. ”

      “xbox360 being their priority. ”

      Yes, you are so right.

      Let me go get Team Fortress 2 on the xbox and see all the nice updates they hav-oh wait.

      They don’t have any.

    • Psychopomp says:

      ““Creating local cache files” for eternity on slow connection preventing a game from being installed even, “servers too busy” whenever ANY game launches, faulty offline mode, stupid client running in the background. Awesome.”

      Bar the tiny client, you’re using a completely different steam than me, or you haven’t used it in years.

  4. Vinraith says:

    That’s a smart PR move, unfortunately. This DRM still needs to die.

  5. jsutcliffe says:

    I’m not sure my dad would like to play either a snowboarding game or a platformer. Why not come up with compensation options that are at least somewhat relevant to the game?

    • JKjoker says:

      because giving you leftovers is much cheaper than actually doing a free expansion/bonus for a game

    • JKjoker says:

      on the bright side, you should be able to play the “compensation” when there is another outage (unless they implemented the new drm in them, but that would but just too funny to be true)

  6. Alex Bakke says:

    “Sorry we couldn’t let you play games, but here’s some rubbish ones to appease you.”

    • Insectecutor says:

      So their system that forces everyone to pay for their games broke so bad that they had to give away some other games free? Does anyone else see the irony in this?

    • Mac says:

      “Here’s one of our many games that are too shit to pirate, so there was no need for our dumb arse DRM” – this is apparently what the Ubi rep said, until he was hit with the McBroon “liar liar your bums on fire” TM stick.

  7. Sweedums says:

    so i wonder how much revenue they have LOST since implementing this system, i mean, surely sales of AC2 etc were lower because of it (at least, it caused me not to buy it)…and now they are giving away free games? what have they gained?

    i wonder what will happen if it goes down again, will they keep giving out free games?

    • Mac says:

      Given it’s on sale for £16, i guess the sales have being as crap’tastic as their DRM.

      the problem is that Ubi will likely use this to blame piracy again rather than look at their pointless DRM.

      My money’s still in my pocket – even at £16

    • terry says:

      I’d be interested to know this as well – I’m not sure if the stats were screwy but apparently a whopping 59 people have played an online game of The Settlers 7, according to the official leaderboards.

  8. Benny says:

    I’m sure something along the lines of ‘we told you so’ deserves to be said. It’s like buying a big cake, then not being able to eat it right away. But to make up for it you can have this small cup-cake with some sprinkles on….

    • Insectecutor says:

      Shaun White Snowboarding isn’t a cupcake, it’s a turd.

  9. TheApologist says:

    I think this comparison is bizarre. And don’t patronise me and other people who like Steam by implying they are just gullible PR-sponges.

    Steam has inconvenienced my once, for about two hours, in all my years of using it, and is a convenient digital shop with great sales. Yes, it involves DRM, but not a DRM that has ever inconvenienced me and one that seems to work for a lot of publishers.

    I’m not blind to what it does. Nor am I uncritical – the offline mode could still be better. But overall, it is in my experience as a PC games player, an extremely good thing.

    You don’t agree for ideological and perhaps practical reasons. Fair enough and I’ll enjoy a discussion with you as to why. But stop being so arrogant and stop treating me like an idiot first.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Richard Beer says:

    Have they patched Silent Hunter to the point where it’s not shit yet? I was really looking forward to it (sad-face)

    • battles_atlas says:

      Unless they patch it to Silent Hunter IV, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

  11. Mac says:

    Wouldn’t it be best to compensate everyone by getting rid of the dumb arse DRM?

    Interesting to see that AssCreed 2 is already for sale under £16, add to this Silent Hunter 5 for £15 and preorder of Settlers for £15 – it looks like retailers are having to sell these titles off cheap to compensate for the crap’tastic DRM … I hope Ubi are happy :p

  12. DMJ says:

    Shouldn’t that be Ubi Service Outrage?

    • Premium User Badge

      Richard Beer says:

      Sounds like a decent game:

      Ubisoft: Service Outrage!

    • DMJ says:

      @Richard Beer:

      Ubisoft: Service Outrage
      Coming this Q3, U:SO puts the player in the most dangerous position in the entire gaming industry: An Ubisoft stuffed-suit executive. The player is charged with an epic quest to maximise revenue streams by diversifying a portfolio of assets while ensuring optimum return-on-investment by leveraging key exclusive technologies and deionising quantum tachyon emissions.

      But wait – that’s not all! The evil pirate menace will destroy the world because if there is even one copy of your game pirated your sales – across all platforms – will actually become negative, resulting in a logical paradox that will wipe out all humanity. You must select your weapons from an arsenal of draconian DRM designed to inconvenience pirates and utterly annihilate their vile brethren, the PC gamer, who, in a twist of fate, are actually all pirates.

      U:SO comes with advanced PC-specific features including support for the 360 controller, the ability to adjust the contrast in the advanced graphics options menu, and a mandatory body cavity search by a burly man named Oscar whenever you load or save the game.

    • Kevbo says:

      Well played sir, thanks for the laugh :)

  13. Jimbo says:

    “Here, have this thing which doesn’t cost us anything at all to give you. Now run along you little scamps!” *pat on the head*

  14. Mistah J says:

    It should also be noted that if you bought Assassin’s Creed 2 Black Edition at retail (for some ludicrous reason), Ubisoft are offering you… the DLC that came with that Black Edition. In other words, no compensation at all.

  15. the wiseass says:

    This is like beating up your wife and then offering her a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant.

    • TheApologist says:

      @wiseass

      Well…a crap restaurant, really.

    • Wulf says:

      …that smells funny, because they happily take their out-of-date goods in bulk off the hands of credible restaurants, in order to keep their customers happy with cheap buffets that’ll probably be the death of them.

    • Mr_Day says:

      I think it is more like letting you marry your wife but only seeing her with a chaperone.

      Then beating her up.

    • DMJ says:

      @Mr_Day:

      And you can’t see her if the chaperone is unavailable. And the chaperone has some sort of chronic disease that means he is off sick a lot. And he gave that disease to your wife. And to you.

    • Catastrophe says:

      “I’m sorry sir, we seem to be completely out of the Venison Steak you have pre-ordered, but as compensation…”

      **Blunt interuption**

      “You’ll reimburse my money?”

      “No sir, better, we can order a Happy Meal for you for no extra cost!…

      but they are out of the Toys…

      but you’ll get 2 ketchups so its all good.”

      “I feel empty inside”.

  16. Stupid Fat Hobbit says:

    This a fairly empty PR gesture; it doesn’t cost Ubisoft anything (except some bandwidth) to give free digital downloads of crap games to people who probably would’ve bought them already if they wanted them. In exchange, they get some (comparatively) good press.

    Hopefully this kind of damage control is a sign that this whole fiasco has hurt their bottom line. As others have pointed out, AC2 being sold at £16 less than a month after release suggests so.

  17. FunkyB says:

    @Samuel
    Steam’s offline mode will stop you playing after an indeterminate amount of time (about 2 weeks seems to be the most-quoted length). This is indeed a disadvantage.

    I love Steam, but let’s not pretend that it isn’t DRM, it is just by far the most /balanced/ DRM scheme at the moment. It gives, and it takes, as opposed to Ubisoft’s effort which only takes and it takes a huge amount.

    • Wulf says:

      “Steam’s offline mode will stop you playing after an indeterminate amount of time (about 2 weeks seems to be the most-quoted length).”

      Citation? If we’re being anecdotal, I’ll counter that by pointing out that I often get three weeks out of it, it’s pretty good like that.

      “This is indeed a disadvantage.”

      Is it? Having to logon to their servers once every 2/3 weeks is a disadvantage? Compared to what? It’s positively benign compared to other DRM and I think this is the point that many Steam supporters are making. It’s nothing like the evils of SecuROM rootkits or Ubisoft always-on madness.

      “I love Steam, but let’s not pretend that it isn’t DRM, […]”

      Is anyone really making that claim? I haven’t been. All I see is people saying that it’s the most benign and benevolent form of DRM, so much so that it’s sane, and waving our arms and screaming about benevolent, sane DRM like Steam makes us look like frothing, rabid, paranoid imbeciles.

      “[…] it is just by far the most /balanced/ DRM scheme at the moment. It gives, and it takes, as opposed to Ubisoft’s effort which only takes and it takes a huge amount.”

      But how much does Steam ‘take’? You seem to be massively over-exaggerating the burden of a fast log-on then log-off every 2/3 weeks.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Wulf: its a disadvantage compared to *not* having to log on every 2-3 weeks.

      But you knew that anyway but were enjoying a spot of straw-man jousting, yes?

    • Grunt says:

      The problem, Wulf, comes form the unequal treatment gamers hand out to Valve vs the rest. Companies like Ubisoft, EA and Activision are always portrayed as the most evil things ever – “booo, hisss!” – whereas Valve, who paved the way for all forms of online DRM through their irritating client tend to be fellated to the hilt at nealry every opportunity, escaping criticism by virtue of the fact they tend to make fantastic games and offer excellent support.

      YES, Ubi’s DRM is orders of magnitude worse but this does not diminish the responsibility that Valve have in showing big business that gamers will not only accept DRM but will often love you in spite of it. People who can see this get a little tired of people saying “I love Valve!!!!” but vilifying other companies for taking further steps down the road Valve introduced.

      And for those supporting offline mode ask yourself why you are now happy to be GRANTED PERMISSION to play your games offline when that freedom was always yours previously.

  18. Tei says:

    While a free game is nice. No one can undo the hours of frustration. People buy games to relax and have fun, not to get angry and waste his time. DRM of this type destroy the trusth of the buyiers on the service provider. It teach peple to no buy games from these people, or to not buy games at all.

  19. Aemony says:

    Nope, I still don’t see any reason to waste my money nor my bandwidth on Ubisofts new DRM. Knowing that they will “compensate” me makes no difference, I shouldn’t even have to be compensated for anything in my opinion. I didn’t do anything wrong, so stop hurting me.

  20. jsutcliffe says:

    Oh my god the pro-Steam/anti-Steam wrangling is getting tiresome. Either someone needs to bring a new argument to the table or the topic needs to be dropped.

    • Mr_Day says:

      How about this:

      In a fistfight, Steam would win. Ubisoft just don’t have the weight.

    • Vinraith says:

      @jsutcliffe

      5 years ago Steam was the subject of outrage and something like Ubi’s DRM was completely unthinkable. Now Steam is accepted, and Ubi’s DRM is the subject of outrage. Where does that put us in 5 more years? The more intrusive bullshit the market accepts, the more intrusive bullshit the publishers will pile on. The line just keeps moving if we let it.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Vinraith

      LOL “5 years ago Steam was the subject of outrage”

      The only people I remember being outraged by Steam were Vivendi, and a few sad trolls. Pretty much everyone else with half a brain and an eye on the future, was like ‘So this keeps my games upto date? No more having to find patches on coverdiscs or download them off of Fileplanet? Great sign me up.’

      I don’t think much has changed, save the trolls have just become more entrenched.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Kadayi:

      Steam’s online activation requirement put me off buying HL2 at the time, and I only got back round to it on consoles with the advent of the orange box.

      Vin is quite correct when he talks about, what I’m going to start calling, Bastardry Creep.

    • Vinraith says:

      @FunkyBadger

      “Bastardry Creep”

      Well coined, sir. I think I’ll take to using that as well, if you don’t mind.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      No, Steam really was a pain in the ass back then.

      However, now it’s a much better system that’s worth the small hassle if you use the features. You know, the community stuff.

      Steam was far more intrusive before however, with it constantly forgetting if you had connected if you shut down your computer.

      Ubisoft will back down.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Vin: Share and Enjoy!

    • RedFred says:

      Say what you want about Steam but I was well pissed off that I had to install it, let it update itself for an hour or two, then update my game before I could play Empire Total War. A mainly single player game that I had bought off the shelf and not developed by Valve.

      So it’s fine now that I turn it on once a week to update but that first time was very, very annoying.

  21. clive dunn says:

    Steam ate my hamster!

    (i’ll get my coat)

  22. Uhm says:

    Steam controls access to your games whether it’s online or offline. It’s generally not intrusive or inconvenient, but for those that choose not to use any of the functions of Steam it’s just something extraneous to playing [some of] your games.

  23. jsutcliffe says:

    @vinraith
    I must have missed the outrage. In fact, I believe everyone I gamed with five years ago had no problem with Steam. I’m pretty sure there was none. #desperatelytryingnottogetdraggedintoyetanothersteambashingthreadbutfailing

    • Vinraith says:

      @jsutcliffe

      I have to wonder if we were on the same internet five years ago, then. I remember at least as many scathing reviews of Steam as I do glowing reviews of the game that required it. I recall the usual barrage of “clever” flash animations and images deriding Steam as a broken mess that kept you from playing your game, and a blatant power grab to boot.

      Frankly I like my memories better than yours. The notion that the industry decided to turn games into a service and no one so much as raised their voice in protest is kind of chilling.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Vinraith

      The problem you seem to have is that you believe your inherent FEAR of the new and the innovative is somehow common place.

      I’d like to see some of these ‘scathing reviews’ you mention so please provide some links. Note links to never heard of bloggers don’t count.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Kadayi

      Yes, I believe many people still have and value a concept of ownership. You don’t. I know you don’t. I know you can’t stand that I do. How about we just agree to disagree and save ourselves the inevitable pages of “arguments?”

    • subedii says:

      In all honesty Vinraith, it really does look as if you can’t stand the other viewpoint either.

      That said I can see where you’re coming from. Heck, despite liking Steam a lot now, I pretty much avoided it for the reasons you describe, lack of ownership and the fact that one day it might just shut down and I’d lose my games with it.

      So what changed? Well over time I guess I’ve just become pragmatic about games in general. I don’t care so much about having endless back catalogues, and the thought that some of my old games might stop working some day doesn’t really worry me anymore, there’s always new games on the horizon.

      That doesn’t stop me from supporting GOG.com and feeling it’s the best model, but for what it offers, I don’t really mind the trade-off that Steam currently is. Some day it may very well happen and Steam may shut down. To be honest, at that point either I’ll torrent some of my favourite singleplayer games with no guilt, or just shrug my shoulders and move on to the next thing.

      Now if Steam were to go the iTunes route of sayin “you know what? Forget DRM, we’ve got the marketplace and you can now purchase your titles DRM free, and the publishers can’t say a thing about it.”, then naturally I’d be happy about that. But in real terms, I can’t see that happening. Valve doesn’t have the power that Apple did with iTunes, PC gaming was, is and likely always will be a niche. Publishers won’t release without DRM, even if it doesn’t work. Heck, even Valve themselves are the first to admit that their DRM is in no way crack-proof. But for their own titles at least, Valve genuinely do treat it as providing an ongoing and free service for their buyers, which actually adds quite a lot to what they release. No other publisher could have pulled off the ARG they just had where they actually altered the content, and even the ending to one of their games, they simply don’t have that control. Valve does with Steam, and they make use of it to good effect. And through Steamworks, other devs are making use of some of those features to.

      It’s definitely not a perfect system. You don’t own the games, you can'[t resell them, and fundamentally you could lose them at any time. I’m willing to accept it for the moment because, for me at least, it does strike a fairly decent balance between what it takes away and what it provides.

    • Vinraith says:

      @subedii

      In all honesty Vinraith, it really does look as if you can’t stand the other viewpoint either.

      I never said I could. The fact is people that aren’t bothered by this kind of thing worry me. The more of them there are, the more the industry moves away from product-based gaming and towards service-based gaming. Since I prefer the former, naturally I prefer that people share my views on this. The reality is, however, that arguing about it doesn’t accomplish a damn thing and I’m tired of doing so.

      Well over time I guess I’ve just become pragmatic about games in general.

      You and a lot of other people, which is really the point I was trying to make. Steam works, so people use it. They don’t worry about the larger issues so long as it works for them right now. The thing is, most of the time Ubi’s DRM works too. I suspect it won’t be long before people view it pragmatically as well, and stop worrying about what happens when the servers go down or, eventually, shut down. That’s what I mean by the industry moving the line. As long as the latest awful DRM works right now, most people won’t be bothered by it, which will make room for the next generation of draconian crap.

    • subedii says:

      Like I said, I used to worry about it, but if my viewpoint’s changed, because my values have changed, not necessarily because of Steam’s implementation.

      I simply don’t game as much as I used to, I don’t have much time to re-visit old classics. When I do game, Steam’s an added convenience in some respects, particularly the easy to use community features that mean I can jump immediately into a friend’s SupCom 2 multiplayer lobby (something that GFWL STILL hasn’t got a grasp of).

      You’re right in a sense that further progression along that line isn’t preferable. I just don’t see it going that way purely because there are better options that are less intrusive and currently work better. The backlash to Ubisoft’s implementation, even from developers and publishers, is a pretty strong indicator in that regard. If Ubisoft leaves PC gaming, I’m not going to be particularly sad since so far, other devs seem to be getting the message. Bioware’s 180 on their DRM alone came as a pretty big surprise to me (that they came out later and said it was a good thing to do, doubly so.)

      If it goes further than that? Well, I’m just going to leave PC gaming since at that point it just won’t be worth my time anymore, when it stops being convenient and when I stop getting my money’s worth from it. Whether or not PC gaming survives or dies after that isn’t something I particularly care about.

      Ultimately though, I find PC gaming to have given me FAR more value for money and convenience as time’s gone on, and I can genuinely say it feels more convenient for me now than it ever has before. I remember the days of CGA graphics, of DOS, XMS and EMS. I remember boot discs and manual IRQ configurations. I remember Windows 95, the horrors of ME, and the relative stability of XP. Today, I load up a game and it just works, even if my connection has crapped out (which believe me, happens a lot). When that stops being the case, I stop being a PC gamer and don’t really look back. For the time being, I’m actually more optimistic about the future of PC gaming now, than I was before.

    • Vinraith says:

      @subedii

      I can see where you’re coming from. I still play PC games a lot, I like to think I’ll be able to continue to do so in the future. I regularly break out old games (sometimes to the exclusion of new ones, which does not help the “unplayed” pile!) and I dislike the idea of losing access to them in the future. Similarly, I dislike the idea of finding a new game I’d like to return to again and again and having that desire frustrated by down servers, DRM, or similar nonsense.

      All that said, I’m already doing what I can about that concern. I buy games through online retailers that don’t have clients, I get games in DRM free format when I can, I get physical copies when it’s practical, I backup everything. When it comes to services where I can’t be sure of future access (like Steam) I make sure to buy at a steep discount, since I view the purchase as a rental. If I really like a game I’ve bought this way on Steam, I often go and purchase it from a more “future-proof” vendor so I have a reliably accessible copy. I don’t buy games with DRM like Ubi’s at all, and indeed never will. In short, I’m doing what I can, and beyond that things will be as they will be.

      You’re right that it’s best to be optimistic about these things, if only because we really have no control over them.

    • Wulf says:

      @Vinraith

      “Yes, I believe many people still have and value a concept of ownership. You don’t. I know you don’t. I know you can’t stand that I do. How about we just agree to disagree and save ourselves the inevitable pages of “arguments?””

      That’s about the only thing I’ve found silly about this.

      Allow me to illustrate.

      Let’s say that I buy a game, and four years down the line the disc has become warped due to bad manufacturing of the disc (this happens more and more all the time, as big publishers look for ways to make even larger amounts of money by cutting corners). At this point, you can’t install it any more and your ownwership isn’t worth squat.

      Whereas the Steam buyer, who bought Half-Life 2 originally on Steam can still download and play Half-Life 2 whenever they want.

      I think it’s just a matter of pragmatism, which is going to be the most realistic long-term solution? Trusting a form of data media as prone to faults as DVD, or trusting an online service to keep your data for you? With an online service like Steam, you do buy your games as a product, but when y ou do you also pay for the service of being able to redownload them whenever you want.

      Now, Steam might cut you off from your account for whatever reason, but a disc is going to get damaged over time inevitably, which is the better option from a pragmatic and practical point of view?

      Steam is no different than a bank. You hand over your money to a bank, and yes, you might get screwed and lose what money you have in there, but it’s still going to be a hell of a lot more secure than keeping it in a safe in your house, where someone could break in, steal the safe, and then make off with your money… only to be able to crack that safe at their leisure.

      At the end of the day, it all comes down to practicality and trust. Do I think that Steam is more practical and trustworthy than a form of fallible media like DVD, do I think Steam is less fallible than keeping my games in my house? Yeah, I do.

      And really, I don’t think there’s any more of a consideration with giving up rights than there is with a bank. But if you keep all your money in a safe in your house and you refuse to use banks then I can’t really argue with you. But if you do use banks, then it’s a bit of a double-edged situation, isn’t it?

    • Wulf says:

      Whee, I’m being the voice of reason!

      This feels as odd as a new pair of pants, in a completely different fashion than I’m accustomed to, but it doesn’t chafe as much.

      It has to be done sometimes though. When irrationality is the order of the day the Coyote turns to reason.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Wulf
      I’m not getting dragged back into this, but I’m so horrified that you think Steam is “like a bank” that I can’t help but post something. Have a look at the Steam user agreement and make sure you understand your rights with respect to your games (the short version: you have none). Money in a bank is backed up by the federal government, property in my house is protected by insurance, games on Steam are protected by nothing. Use Steam if you want, put all your games on it if it works that well for you, but please be an informed consumer however you choose to buy your games.

    • Collic says:

      @Vinrath. I’m sure you’ll never be persuaded on the steam issue, but if you can’t trust valve to pass over ownership of those games if it all goes tits up, you can’t trust any company. I appreciate that’s probably your position (and that’s fair enough), but it’s why a lot of us have no problem with steam.

      I use it for the community stuff as much as a game launcher. If you appreciate those aspects of steam, then it is the only online distribution platform that has no downside. You don’t really worry about being offline when you tend to be on there talking to your gaming friends anyway.

      That said, I’ve never had any problem with the offline mode on the rare occasion I have had to use it (and apparently it’s fixed now – really!).

    • Wulf says:

      Doo dee doo… here we are again… happy as can be… fa la la la la…
      @Vinraith
      “Have a look at the Steam user agreement and make sure you understand your rights with respect to your games (the short version: you have none). Money in a bank is backed up by the federal government, […]”
      The last statement is irrelevant, because what matters is what happens in practise, and I’ve heard of no end of banks freezing accounts due to suspected criminal activities (and sometimes for more paranoid reasons, see: PayPal). Now, the only reason you may ever lose access to your Steam account over a long period is due to suspected criminal activities, look at that!
      And frankly, I’d trust Valve to be tech savvy enough to not throw around false accusations and work with false positives. Due to that, I’ve never had any trouble accessing my games. What’s on a EULA doesn’t matter because law in most cases is an absolute joke (and EULAs are the worst of all, with loopholes you could drew a few starships through), what happens <i>in practise</i> is far more important. In practise: Steam has never caused me any troubles, neither has my bank.
      “[…] property in my house is protected by insurance, […]”
      Insurance that’ll likely try to screw you over and not try to pay you if you come to loggerheads, your point?
      “[…] games on Steam are protected by nothing.”
      Neither are banks or insurance, in the worst case scenarios in reality, and you’re talking about worst case scenarios with Steam. You put too much belief in the imaginary ‘good’ of one system, but not another, why is that? There’s every chance you’d lose access to your money, or your insurance as you’d lose access to your Steam games. All these systems are prone to being fallible, and saying that one is better than another because of what you feel are safety nets is a bit silly. Reality doesn’t work that way, from what I’ve observed.
      All you can do is trust that your bank is a good one, that your insurance company won’t screw you over, and that Valve won’t take your games away. So if you use banks, insurance, and then damn Steam, that’s hypocritical because there’s really no differentiation in practise, and I’m surprised you don’t see that.
      It’s common sense.
      “Use Steam if you want, put all your games on it if it works that well for you, but please be an informed consumer however you choose to buy your games.”
      I am, very much so, but I think you live in an imaginary bubble in regards to some things whilst being overly damning in regards to others.
      I’m more of a realist, I realise that my bank could screw me over, my insurance could, and so could Steam. At the end of the day it’s just a matter of seeking out the bank, the insurance, and the provider that’s less likely to do that.
      And consider this: Your physical games might get damaged/stolen and your insurance might refuse to pony up the cost for replacements, whereas I, with my titles on Steam (bought and acquired from plugging in keys) are still safe. Yes, that’s just <i>one</i> outcome, but what isn’t? Do you see? It’s all a matter of perspective and understanding that failure could occur regardless of what you place your trust in.
      If you damn Steam for having the potential of being fallible, then you must so damn banks, insurance, and any other system like that in the same breath, otherwise you’re just being overzealous with some kind of religious stance. And that’s what this comes over as from a lot of Anti-Steam fans: a religious stance. It really isn’t very realistic at all.
      …and here I am, being the voice of reason again, look at that. So strange.
      @Collic
      “That said, I’ve never had any problem with the offline mode on the rare occasion I have had to use it (and apparently it’s fixed now – really!).”
      I agree with your entire post, but I find the offline mode stuff funny… I feel bad for Valve because it’s always worked for me.
      You’re right in regards to trust though, because almost everything in life comes down to a matter of trust.

  24. Kompi says:

    @Vinraith
    I seem to recall this as well, actually. As I remember it, when Steam shipped, the offline mode was either nonexistant or nonworking, and it took Valve quite awhile to actually put it in order; this was especially frustrating for the crowd going to smaller LAN parties that lacked internet connections and suddenly weren’t allowed to play the games they went there to play in the first place.

    It was actually made worse by how people could still be found using 56k modems at the time – I know I was stuck with that at the time for one.

    It’s definitely gotten better over time, but at the time of its inception, Steam was definitely very draconian and flawed.

  25. redrain85 says:

    So, by using their horrid DRM in an attempt to keep people from playing their newest games for free, they’ve now had to compensate their customers by giving them games . . . for free? That is some delicious logic there. (Yes, I realize the games are digital instead of boxed and crap at that. But the irony!)

    Don’t let Ubi toss you a few shiny (or perhaps not so shiny, after all) baubles your way and be lulled into thinking that that somehow makes everything all right now.

    Nothing less than the complete removal of this DRM will be enough to make me want to buy any more Ubisoft titles.

  26. AncientGamer says:

    My recollection:

    I remember some outrage around Steam. I don’t remember it being as incensed because Steam was just optional and for just Valve’s games only at the time. Then it became a requirement for Valve’s games…some more outrage (personal experience below), but then all the other publishers jumped onto it, most of the times removing their own DRM, and the weekend sales took off…how can we complain about cheap 50% off games we can get instantly from the comfort of our mom’s basement?

    I was pissed off the week Half Life 2 came out and I couldn’t play it because the servers were overloaded…there were a lot of others like me. There were a couple of substantial outages as well (there was a power outage in the Seattle area that took down the authentication servers at one point, IIRC).

    But the level of vitriol hasn’t been the same….I guess people just trust GabeN vs. faceless greedy executives?

  27. jsutcliffe says:

    Vinraith said:
    I can see where you’re coming from. I still play PC games a lot, I like to think I’ll be able to continue to do so in the future. I regularly break out old games (sometimes to the exclusion of new ones, which does not help the “unplayed” pile!) and I dislike the idea of losing access to them in the future. Similarly, I dislike the idea of finding a new game I’d like to return to again and again and having that desire frustrated by down servers, DRM, or similar nonsense.

    I have lost access to more games that I physically own (through lost or damaged discs, or losing CD keys) than games I own on digital platforms (where I’ve lost access to none). I really don’t see owning a physical product to be any real benefit, other than that it’s sometimes nice to have a proper manual.

    • Vinraith says:

      @jsutcliffe

      To each their own, I suppose. If I lose or damage a copy of something physical, it’s my own damn fault. If I lose access to something digital, it’s someone else’s. I’d prefer to have that control, and take the responsibility that comes with it. Thus far, over more than 15 years of PC gaming on a rig of my own, I’ve not lost a single physical copy of a game I cared about.

      Don’t get me wrong, the ideal situation is to have both. That’s one reason I love DRM free games from sites like GOG. I can create a physical backup AND have the option to download the game in the future (so long as GOG’s still around, anyway). It’s the best of both worlds.

    • Vinraith says:

      @jsutcliffe
      As an addendum to that, digital distribution is quite new. It doesn’t surprise me you’ve lost access to no games on DD as of yet. The question is, how many will you lose in the next decade? How many will I lose? I don’t know, I don’t like not knowing, and most of all I don’t like that I have no control whatsoever over the answer.

    • Wulf says:

      @Vinraith

      There’s a lot I wouldn’t dream of arguing there, because much of what you’ve said is opinion and I have no qualms with that. It’s really like you said, to each their own. One thing that does surprise me though is the notion of digital distribution being new. It’s been around for quite a while.

      It started off with applications mostly, waaay back, and there were digital distribution systems around even before Steam. Steam was released in late ’03, so we’re six and a half years post that. Since then, we’ve seen indie developers pick up digital distribution, and alongside that the PS3 has it (PSN), the 360 has it (Live), the Wii has it (Wii Shop), the PSP has it (PSN again), and even the DSi has it (DSi Shop).

      It was a natural evolution of other content delivery systems, like the aforementioned applications, and content like music and videos. For example: iTunes launched in ’01, 9 years ago.

      Digital distribution is something that began around the turn of the century, and continued full speed ahead from there, today it’s something that’s widely accepted and used for many forms of content, to the point where some developers are opting for digital distribution over retail, because that means they don’t have to get involved with a publisher (and that’s a very good thing).

      I’ve been using Steam for years, I haven’t lost access to anything and I doubt I ever will. Time will tell.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Wulf
      Replace “digital distribution is quite new” with “redownloadable mainstream digital distribution is quite new.” The old DD models tended to assume you WERE making a physical backup of the game once you received it, so they’re something of a different animal. The modern incarnation of DD is necessarily a product of widely available broadband access, you couldn’t have something like Steam without it.
      _
      Anyway, the point was that I doubt jsutcliffe has had much opportunity to lose digitally downloaded games as of yet. Certainly he hasn’t had the chance to lose a sample of games statistically equivalent to his physical game collection over an equivalent time period.

    • malkav11 says:

      If my physical copy of the game stops working, I can track down another one. If all copies of the game require a connection to servers that are no longer operational, I can never play that game again. Please excuse me if I’d prefer the former scenario.

      I’ve actually yet to lose access to any game I own, short of MMOs that shut down, but I have no reason to believe that Steam or any other digital distributor or DRM activation server will remain intact in their present form forever.

  28. Wulf says:

    A few points in regards to all the ‘Steam was all this and that way back then, oh you kids today! *shakes cane.* You have it easy!’ stuff…

    I remember Steam had a few hiccups at the start, but Steam was always a content distribution platform. These days, the correlations don’t fit due to things like offline mode, they just seem like nonsense, and reminiscing doesn’t paint an at all accurate picture of what Steam is like today. The Ubisoft DRM might be different 5 years down the line, or they might have dropped it, but we are dealing with today.

    Furthermore…

    – The Ubisoft system isn’t a content distribution system, it’s acquired via one or bought via retail, so there’s really no need for the backbone they’ve built into their game, and they’re having a very hard time justifying it.

    – Steam has always only required a single check on startup, just one, then you’re good to go for the rest of your gaming session. Even way back when, if you were to hibernate in XP, Steam’d Half-Life 2 wouldn’t care, wouldn’t cause you to lose progress, and wouldn’t bitch about loss of contact with some servers. Once you’re past the single startup check in Steam, or if you’re running offline, then you don’t have to worry about anything. Whereas with a Ubisoft game you’re sitting there worrying about whether your Internet is going to cut out, or whether their servers are going to bomb, neither would be a worry with solely Steam DRM.

    – The Steam DRM is part of the content distribution system, if you buy a Steam game, you can redownload it as often as you like, and to as many computers as you like, but the Ubisoft games don’t provide any way to reacquire your game if you happen to lose it.

    Considering all of this, it just doesn’t seem sane to make Steam & Ubisoft comparisons. Steam is fine, these days, it might not have been at some point in the distant past, but it is now. Ubisoft could use Steam’s DRM and they’d be fine. But yes, the Ubisoft DRM is much, MUCH more broken than Steam’s initial release, and that’s the only thing worth keeping in mind. If anything, we should be pointing at Steam and telling Ubisoft that’s how it should be done.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Wulf

      Completely agreed, and yes it doesn’t remotely make sense to compare Ubi’s DRM with the steam service in any way shape or form. Unfortunately however the world of gaming internet forums is full of mewling man babies who can’t get over the the past (something sucked very briefly once 5 years ago) or their FEAR of the future. It’s all rather tragic really.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      As Goebells used to say, repeat a big lie enough times and the people will believe it is true.

      Steam is just another online intrusive DRM that can only damage the buyers and never those who pirate steam game distributions left and right. Do not beatify Steam because there’s something worse out there. You risk slowly give way to more and more restrictions. That’s how we got in this mess in the first place. A few years back a system like Steam would be unthinkable and the today’s equivalent of Ubisoft insanity. But I guess memory is a rare thing these days.

      Whatever.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      Dude, that’s just plain silly. Steam has it’s advantages and it’s drawbacks. Some people don’t value the advantages, and that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with that. But this blanket condemnation of it is just asinine, acting like anyone who’s comfortable with it must be some brainwashed automaton. The fact that you’d even bring up fucking Nazis in relation to it shows just how far RPS comment threads have drifted away from reasonable discussion and into the fucking loony bin. I still think the articles are great, and some of the comments are useful and reasonable, but for God’s sake man, would it kill you to show a little respect for people who don’t share your opinion?

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      And it’s not because it’s 3 weeks, 1 months or 6 months of offline time that the premise changes. Ubisoft can change it to 1 week and suddenly will it be alright? Or is it alright only when it’s 2 weeks? No, maybe 3? We already know at-all-times is wrong. But when is it alright? You decide? And when 1 week becomes the norm? Why not some evil company reduce it to once a day and then later offer it as once every 2 days? Well, 2 days is better than 1 day! So it will be alright. Once every two days will be the norm, you will be happy about it and will forget (just like you forgot when even the thought of having to be online to play a game, no matter if it was once every 3 weeks was unthinkable).

      Meanwhile Life is eventful. And god forbid one day you feel the full force of Steam DRM upon you, if you lose your job and can’t afford to keep paying the internet, or some other event stops you from online access. You bought a product for the same price has everyone else, but you won’t be able to use it because of something that should have never had anything to do with your ability to use it.

      Not to mention if the company folds in a major incident yet unknown to all of us. For all I know, the IRS is coming to their door this Monday to shutdown the whole thing.

      And this is the type of things we have been allowing to be done upon us. And it’s obvious, with that frame of mind (which btw you share with the vast majority of gamers) it will only get worse with time.

      I for one am happy I’m losing any interest in AAA titles. The golden age of PC gaming is coming to an end, largely of our own doing.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      @invisiblejesus

      I will not grace you with a proper reply because I fear you will exercise again your complete lack of ability to interpret the text you are reading. Your skills on that department leave a lot to be desired, not to mention your skills in bringing an historical quote completely out of context.

      Despite of being slightly offended by your reply, I couldn’t stop but smirk when you used the words “loony bin”. Right you are.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Wulf

      My understanding is that Ubi intends this DRM to be integrated into a content delivery system for their software. That’s what the whole “Uplay” thing is about.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      @Mario

      On the contrary, I understand the context of the Goebells quote and I’m quite able to interpret the English language. You are comparing the propaganda of Goebells with Valve’s statements about Steam, or with the free and reasonable expressions of opinion by those gamers who like Steam, or both. This is a blog comment thread, of course, not an academic text, so the lack of precision on who exactly you’re comparing to Goebells is acceptable, but either way it’s a pretty ridiculous, disrespectful and intellectually dishonest comparison to make. In addition, you are clearly comparing gamers who find Steam acceptable to the destitute, terrified and brainwashed citizens of Nazi-era Germany. That’s even more inane.

      I don’t begrudge you your dislike of Steam. It’s reasonable to dislike Steam, or any similar software that in some way limits your control over what you have paid for. To some limited extent I share your disapproval of it; when all else is equal, I’d rather have the option of adding my game to my Steam list rather than being forced to. That’s just good common sense. On the facts, I suspect we could disagree like reasonable people. My issue is with the way in which you choose to make your opinion known and the contempt you show for those who have a different point of view.

    • MD says:

      “for God’s sake man, would it kill you to show a little respect for people who don’t share your opinion?”

      Why did you single him out, but ignore Kadayi?

      “Unfortunately however the world of gaming internet forums is full of mewling man babies who can’t get over the the past (something sucked very briefly once 5 years ago) or their FEAR of the future. It’s all rather tragic really.”

      That was one of the least respectful, least constructive comments I’ve read on RPS.

      (Incidentally, if the comments here are going to be censored, surely that one qualifies for the chop. It’s not for me to decide, obviously, but I reckon it makes sense to take into account some sort of offensiveness:content ratio; i.e. you get a bit more leeway to push the boundaries if your comment has something worthwhile in it, and conversely you can’t get away with much at all in content-free posts.)

    • bill says:

      Steam has single handedly saved PC gaming.
      You might not agree with all it’s methods, but if it hadn’t been around we’d be in a terrible state.
      It’s also given huge exposure to many indie developers, and essentially resurected the old indie/bedroom coders of the past.

      The fact it might not allow me to play the games i’ve already played (and got at the price of a rental) at an unspecified theoretical time in the future isn’t really a big concern. Especially considering i have a pile of game CDs here that I can’t play on my PC because windows/nvidia/ati/directx no longer supports them.

      We’d get a lot further in fighting the really restrictive DRMs out there, and having sensible debates, if people weren’t so reactionary against every single thing. No one’s going to take people seriously complaining about ubiDRM when they are waving pitchforks and attacking valve/steam

    • invisiblejesus says:

      @MD

      “”Why did you single him out, but ignore Kadayi?

      “Unfortunately however the world of gaming internet forums is full of mewling man babies who can’t get over the the past (something sucked very briefly once 5 years ago) or their FEAR of the future. It’s all rather tragic really.”

      That was one of the least respectful, least constructive comments I’ve read on RPS.

      (Incidentally, if the comments here are going to be censored, surely that one qualifies for the chop. It’s not for me to decide, obviously, but I reckon it makes sense to take into account some sort of offensiveness:content ratio; i.e. you get a bit more leeway to push the boundaries if your comment has something worthwhile in it, and conversely you can’t get away with much at all in content-free posts.)”

      Your question is a fair one. It comes down to a few things for me:

      1) I’ve read Mario’s posts on other threads and I just plain dislike the way he comes across. I might as well just put that personal bias right out there rather than playing around and pretending his attitude doesn’t piss me off.

      2) I think that to a large extent the RPS community has been excessively anti-Steam. I don’t begrudge people disliking Steam, but I do notice when articles that have nothing to do with Steam get hijacked by people who appear to be looking for any opportunity to carry on about how much they think Steam sucks. As such, while I don’t think Kadayi’s post was necessarily the most constructive thing he could have posted, I think he’s far more in the right and far closer to the views of reasonable, non-crazy people than some of the most anti-Steam folks here. Kadayi talks about mewling man-babies. Probably not the best way to get one’s point across. I don’t see it the way he does. However, I see a lot of posts critical of Steam that seem to come from extreme ideological perspectives. I do not think that that is a constructive thing. Even some posters I generally respect seem sometimes to fall into the trap Mario has, of condemning other people on these ideological grounds for reasonable differences of opinion. It’s video games, guys, we’re not talking about human rights abuses or something.

      3) I disagree with you that Kadayi’s post was one of the most disrespectful things ever posted on RPS. I’m not going to go into specifics, as I don’t want to stir up another flame war over some old posts, but I very clearly recall much more obnoxious things than that, some of them very recent. If you don’t, fair enough, we may not read the same posts or pay attention to the same discussions. But they happened.

      4) Factually, what Kadayi said was correct. Steam isn’t perfect, but it isn’t even close to what people are saying it was 5 years ago. For that matter, it’s not as problematic as people say it is now. Personally I started using it about 3 or 4 years ago, and haven’t had any of the problems people here are talking about. Yeah, if it doesn’t work then that sucks and you have a right to complain. But this isn’t 5 years ago. Who cares how much it sucked back then? If your car breaks down, and you get it fixed, do you keep pretending it won’t run afterwards, since 5 years ago it wouldn’t run? Of course not. I don’t understand what the magical difference is that makes Steam suck today simply because it sucked 5 years ago.

      5) Godwin’s Law is there for a reason.

      It’s very late where I am, so I may have overlooked a detail or two. If so, I apologize.

    • Kadayi says:

      @MD

      Sorry you feel that way MD, but personally I’m sick and tired of coming to RPS for gaming talk and finding yet another thread hijacked by the lunatic fringe element who just can’t let go of the past, and want to use every thread to tell you about it ad infinitum. Sure Steam had it’s problems initially, but that was an epoch in gaming years ago and now it’s become a mainstay of the PC gaming scene. Does that make it perfect? Of course not. But over time it’s gotten better and better, and the community stuff is fantastic.

      If you applied the mentality of some posters to here to human endeavour & progress in general, we’d still be living in caves and grunting. As for mewling man babies, that’s not a phrase I personally came up with (Dave Ellis formerly of 1UP coined it if I recall), but I think it’s fairly apt when I come here and find the same posters hijacking threads again and again to tell us how ‘I Saw Something Nasty In The Wood Shed’ over their favourite topics of Steam, Windows 7 or the death of PC gaming.

      If anything this site is for people who are enthusiastic about the medium of PC gaming as it evolves where as increasingly it’s seems to attract a crowd who much like King Canute are verbally attempting to hold back the tide of progress, or rob it of it’s ‘OMFG Yes!!!’ factor. Initially is was amusing, but now it’s grown tiresome. So forgive me if I call a spade a spade, but we’re long past the point of where in a convivial dialogue is even worth attempting with these can’t change/won’t change, things were better in 1992 stuck in the muds, who can’t let go of their Baggage and FEAR. Sorry.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      @invisiblejesus

      You can come up with any sort of justification, but you resume your arguments as calling anyone who doesn’t agree with you a loonie and complaining they are living in the past.

      Furthermore, on what concerns me I don’t even care if steam was bad in the past and is cool in the present. I do not argue against steam based on some past event. My one and only argument against steam is the online requirement to play games. Be it 3 weeks, be it 6 months, be it online-at-all-time, I don’t care.

      I really have nothing more to add to that. I already said what I think. The fact you attribute my quote to Godwin’s law is one of the most offensive remarks I had the displeasure of being a victim of. What you don’t seem to realize is that quote context, what it means, and what it tries to come across. It’s not a reference trying to compare Steam to Nazis. That you make not even the slightest effort to interpret what is being said, is revealing of the type of mentality you accuse others of.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Mario Figueiredo

      “My one and only argument against steam is the online requirement to play games. Be it 3 weeks, be it 6 months, be it online-at-all-time, I don’t care.”

      The very fact that you appear to be writing on this forum seems indicative of you possessing internet access of some kind, so it kind of undermines that 100% against argument (what next arguing that having to access the internet to check your hotmail is unacceptable?). It takes less time to turn start up steam and set it to offline mode, than it does to read your post, and until you tell Steam to not be in offline mode, it will function perfectly well, because it’s a computer program, not some kind of self aware AI as most of you seem to purport.

  29. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    A version of breakout should have already been programmed into the game. “There seems to be a problem with the connection the Ubisoft servers, so we’ve gone ahead and delete your progress. Please enjoy this game of breakout instead.”

  30. Initialised says:

    In case no one said it already: “I told you so”

  31. Pepito says:

    Why did anyone bother buying this game in the first place…?
    noone else is to blame but the people who support ubisoft.

    • Grunt says:

      I have a magazine right here, Pepito, with a review of Assassin’s Creed 2 that does not even hint at the DRM. This is the problem: if no-one talks about it then people will buy out of ignorance.

  32. Premium User Badge

    oceanclub says:

    “As Goebells used to say, repeat a big lie enough times and the people will believe it is true.”

    Godwin’s Law has been invoked so I hearby close the thread.

    P.

  33. bill says:

    post to activate reply function. ignore.

  34. bill says:

    @Hmm:

    I want to reply to yu, but it totally refuses to register a reply to that thread. So i’ll write it here where you won’t see it.

    Trying to make the Ubisoft DRM equivilent to Steam seems rather a strange move. They have very little to compare them. I’m trying to work out if you think ubiDRM is ok because you hate steam, or if you think everyone else deserves ubiDRM because they don’t hate steam. Either way the comparison is very odd.

    Steam is a content distribution system that happens to include an on-launch activation check.
    UbiDRM is DRM that requires a permanent and un-interrupted connection.

    They aren’t comparable at all, and trying to do so just clouds the issues (for steam or ubiDRM) and makes you look a little unhinged.
    Steam is far from perfect, but it has totally different goals and implementation from ubiDRM. UbiDRM has no benefits, merely sweetners.

    (side notes: I bought Mirror’s Edge from steam during their holiday sale and the whole thing downloaded and unpacked in less time than it took to write this post. I also played HL2 with NO internet connection when I moved to a new apartment, and the offline mode appeared to work for at least 2 months. )

  35. Renzatic says:

    Vinraith said:

    5 years ago Steam was the subject of outrage and something like Ubi’s DRM was completely unthinkable. Now Steam is accepted, and Ubi’s DRM is the subject of outrage. Where does that put us in 5 more years?

    Something we’ll be talking about in 2015…

    Me: Activision requires Primae Noctis? They want to **** my wife? Oh well. She’s a dead lay anyway, and I really want to play Call Of Duty: Hanoi Hoedown. It’s better than what Ubisoft is doing, all taking my car in the middle of the night, and holding it hostage to make sure I don’t rip and distribute Prince of Persia: The Sand In My Craw.

    Angry Mans: YOU’RE SUCH AN APOLOGIST, RENZATIC!

  36. Devan says:

    While I usually agree with you Wulf, I can not agree with a number of your assertions here.
    “All I see is people saying that it’s the most benign and benevolent form of DRM, so much so that it’s sane, and waving our arms and screaming about benevolent, sane DRM like Steam makes us look like frothing, rabid, paranoid imbeciles.”

    A quick search of this page reveals that you are the only one who has called Steam “benign”, “benevolent” or “sane”. I’m not saying that it is “insane”, but even if it was 100% reliable I would never call something “benign” or “benevolent” for simply allowing me access to the products that I own. Also, the fact that it has the ability to deny me access to those products is a potential disadvantage. It has rarely inconvenienced me personally, but I would much prefer that it not even be there.
    I think we can all agree that, all other things being equal, having no restrictions is better than having convenient restrictions.

    • Wulf says:

      I hate people who bite back with fallacies, I really do. It just makes me sigh, these deep, heavy sighs…

      “A quick search of this page reveals that you are the only one who has called Steam “benign”, “benevolent” or “sane”.”

      1.) You assert that I have previously made this claim, and yet I have not. This is a misrepresentation of the facts, and by doing that you’ve now forced me to prove that others have shared my views, on the back of your fallacy. Annoying.

      2.) People have their own words, they don’t have to mimic mine. If you bother to read the posts–as opposed to just searching for key-words–you’ll find that there are a large number of people who support my view in sentiment, if not word for word. I mean, really… “Oh hai, I did a search for some key words used in your post, and it seems like no one shares your views, sucks to be you!” Do you realise how ridiculous that is? Really?

      :/

      “I would never call something “benign” or “benevolent” for simply allowing me access to the products that I own.”

      Sigh. There’s another one.

      There’s this little thing called opinions, everyone was sharing theirs so I decided to share mine. My opinion is that Steam is quite benevolent when compared to other DRM systems and that those who’re going at Steam like a bull at a gate are being a bit dickish.

      This is just an opinion, and unless you’re some fascist government whom I’ve become a serf to, I’m allowed to have an opinion which is different than yours.

      “Also, the fact that it has the ability to deny me access to those products is a potential disadvantage.”

      Here you bring up an argument that I’ve dealt with countless times all ready…

      Phsysical Media can be lost if…

      – You get burgled.
      – The disc is damaged (discs are produced with lower quality constraints, these days).
      – It has a limited number of activations (Spore, et al).
      – You lose your key.

      Steam access is lost if…

      – Uh… I’ve never lost access to Steam, but I have heard reports of people who have by account sharing, being warned about that, still doing it, and then losing their account, but that’s about it really.

      So there you have it.

      In my opinion, Steam is positively far more secure than physical media, and whatever draconic DRM might come on it.

      “I think we can all agree that, all other things being equal, having no restrictions is better than having convenient restrictions.”

      Everything has restrictions.

      Look, I’m an anarchist when talking about ideals, but that’s something I keep to my own philosophies and story-weaving, it doesn’t apply to the real world. Why? The real world just doesn’t work with very many ideals at all. I don’t think I should have to be telling you this.

      And you’re talking as if physical media couldn’t damn you the same way, so to do a bit of Q.E.D…

      If you somehow lose your disc, you’re screwed.
      If the data on your HDD gets damaged, you can just redownload Steam games.

      I prefer to trust the latter, you prefer to trust the former, that’s up to you. I’m not as paranoid, and I know that in the real world I have to trust people, because life just works that way.

    • Lilliput King says:

      But that’s utterly misleading. The possibility of a disc being stolen hardly counts as a restriction.

      You’re missing the point, probably intentionally. Devan never actually mentions physical media, and this is because it’s a false dichotomy you’re drawing. There isn’t Steam on the one side and physical media on the other.

      Compare Steam with something like GOG. When you buy a game on Steam, you have to log in to Steam to play the game. Whichever way you look at it, you depend on Steam to be able to play the game – if Steam ever goes down temporarily or permanently, you can no longer play the game. Essentially, when you ‘buy’ something on Steam, it belongs to you only temporarily and conditionally. When you buy something on GOG, though, you can download the file, then burn it on to a disc (hey, several perhaps, go nuts) then upload it to your file storage site online, then drive one copy to the dead center of the Sahara Desert and seal it in a lead casket for safekeeping in case of societal collapse and nuclear war.

      And when you return to that spot many years later, no longer a boy but a man, seen cities rise and fall etc, and unearth your game, it will still work! If GOG goes down, that doesn’t stop you accessing the game that you paid for, because under a system like GOG’s, you actually own the game, so can keep unlimited physical and digital copies of it in a fully playable condition.

      Personally, I still think Steam’s a fair deal, but you’re wrong to argue (in such vitriolic terms that you’re no better than those frothing ragers you mock) that it doesn’t provide restricted access to what you buy, especially when there are better examples out there.

  37. Neut says:

    So… This is all Steam’s fault?

    Should I be boycotting something?

    • Wulf says:

      It is all a tad mentally unbalanced, isn’t it?

      I can just imagine Ubisoft’s thinking, seeing something like this…

      Ubisoft: Even if we renege on our DRM and give them an offline mode, one which they can use without restrictions, it won’t make them happy because even something as benign as Steam is The Devil. There’s just no pleasing them, they’re frothing, rabid, and utterly barking mad. They’d point at a damn puppy dog and call it The Devil! So there’s really no use in bothering, they’re all bloody off their nuts anyway, and even if we make our DRM even more restrictive they’ll just go on irrelevant rants about how evil Steam is. Ha ha ha!

      Sigh.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Neut

      You should be boycotting Ubi, obviously. You can do what you want with Steam, any damage the popularity of that service has caused has already been done anyway. We’re going to be assailed from all sides, now, by “games as a service” systems. I’ve no idea where the bastardry creep will end, but it certainly won’t end with Ubi.

    • Wulf says:

      @Vinraith

      The problem isn’t games as a service, but how likely it is that our service is going to be interrupted. If you run polls as to whether people think Steam is evil, I suspect that it would come back with results that would show Steam in a positive light, and if you run a poll asking people what they hated about DRM, they’d likely say that it stops them from playing their games.

      I’ve had Steam for many, many years now, I even have more than one account on it, and in all the time I’ve played Steam games I’ve never once been kicked out of a game because of Steam, I’ve never once been prevented from playing a game because of Steam, I’ve not had a single interruption or outage. It has a single check at the start and there’s offline mode, in fact, steam is designed from the ground up to ensure that I will always have access to my games.

      Now from my observations, there are two things going on here:

      1.) One group of people who’re okay with Steam but mad at Ubisoft, because the Ubisoft system is very likely to cause interruptions to their gaming, and control how they game (they can’t game offline).

      2.) There’s one group of people trying to hunt down ‘games as a service’ as though they were vampire-hunters, and Steam was the vampire, and anything about DRM tends to bring up anything that includes ‘games as a service’, including Steam. You aren’t alone in this, I see a few others touting this point of view.

      The problem with 2 is that they’re promoting an annoying fallacy, the fallacy goes like this:

      Ubisoft are providing games as a service, this is the only problem. Therefore anyone who provides games as a service is part of the problem. This ist he only consideration. The only way we can stop this is by smiting all systems which provide games as a service.

      Except that’s not true, is it? Here’s my take:

      Ubisoft are providing games as a limited service, where they have no responsibility to keep their severs up over the short term or the long term. They’ve given us no reason to believe that they would keep their servers up when they’ve had trouble keeping them up thus far, and they might take them down eventually because it’s just not convenient to run them any more, then owners of Ubisoft games would be royally fucked. I can’t play a Ubiosft game offline and this is a problem, I also lose progress due to an unstable Internet connection, this is also a problem, and I can’t just hibernate my PC in the middle of a gaming session, that’s really annoying, and none of these issues apply to Steam.

      Steam have kept their servers up for many years, they’ve built a reputation as the good guys of PC gaming and that’s why I trust Gabe Newell to do the right thing, even if Steam was ever shut down I’m sure they’d find some way to compensate us all, even if with a permanently offline version of Steam. Because Valve are just like that. They’ve kept their servers running for over 5 years now and all the time they improve on Steam and the service, they’ve never once let me down.

      However, Ubisoft have been known to resort to Star-Force, they’ve shown before that they don’t care if people can’t play their games any more since they haven’t dealt with their older games that have Star-Force, this leaves me distrustful of them, and inclined to believe that when they believe Assassin’s Creed 2 is ‘obsolete’, they’ll just shut down their servers, because that’s something that I think Ubisoft would do.

      A lot of it is down to my perceptions of companies and who I trust. I trust Valve because I have a mountain of reasons to trust them, a mountain littered with instances of “Wot Valve did.” in order to earn my trust. Whereas in comparison my distrust of Ubisoft is a gaping gorge, littered with “Wot Ubisoft did.” in order to earn my distrust.

      And this is why I don’t like group 2 and their rabidly attacking anything that happens to be ‘games as a service’, because they’re damning the innocent to damn the guilty, it’s a witch-hunt and nothing more. And I’ve seen witch-hunt mentality in this community before, it really rubs me the wrong way, I can’t help it. I always believed in innocent until proven guilty, and until Valve does something to prove themselves guilty I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

      But Ubisoft’s past forays with horrible DRM systems, their “Prince of Persia was DRMless and that sold horribly due to piracy!!!” nonsense, and the design of their current always-on DRM makes me think they’re as questionable as hell. And yes, we should complain about questionable things, but if you’d see Steam past the witch then you’d find that Steam is just fine, and it’s really only harming our situation to run at it with torches and pitch-forks.

    • Wulf says:

      @Vinraith (Addendum)

      The thing about al this is that I actually like you and your posts, which is why I find all this witch-hunting baffling. And the thing is that I’d even be willing to buy you a current game on Steam, just so that you could give Steam and its new flash-bang UI, offline mode, and all that other goodness a go. If you find that after testing the offline mode that it doesn’t work for you, then that’s fine.

      The only thing that bothers me about this is the nebulous fear that Steam is going to have any more risk of locking one out than a bank, insurance, or any other service. Where is that coming from? What did Valve do to fuel that fear? It all seems so baseless, and that’s why I equate it to witch-hunting, because it just comes over as this huge, utterly irrational fear, with no evidence or basis to back it up. Burn it anyway! This is a kind of mindset I’ve fought all over the Internet because I really don’t like it. I’ve seen people with their heads in the sand about so many topics, and it’s hard to educate them because they’re not interested in hearing anything I have to say.

      I could pick one of tens of topics that I fight with people who have a BURN IT mentality over, who’d burn and then check to see whether their assumptions and insinuations were correct. I always feel inclined to defend the underdog against the fearful mob, whether that underdog is myself or someone else. And really, if I’d seen evidence to backup the claims against Steam then I might be willing to join that mob, but right now it just looks like a good old witch-hunt.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Wulf
      The only thing that bothers me about this is the nebulous fear that Steam is going to have any more risk of locking one out than a bank, insurance, or any other service. Where is that coming from? What did Valve do to fuel that fear?
      _
      The answer to every question you ask here is the Steam User Agreement. Beyond that I can’t help you with the rest of your post, as I’ve no particular interest in seeing Steam “burned.” Indeed it’d be very inconvenient for me if it were, I have quite a few games on that service. I don’t want to see systems like Steam become the norm, because more restrictive systems following the same basic “service” model (like Uplay) are an inevitability under those circumstances. Again, “bastardry creep” is a brilliant term for the phenomenon, and I fear we’ll be seeing a lot of it. I prefer systems that allow me to retain meaningful ownership of my games, and choose to preferentially give my money to those. You prefer to give your money to Steam, because it works for you and you like the convenience and community features. As long as we can both do what we want, what’s the problem, here?

  38. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Speaking for me at least, Wulf, it is not so much an issue of the possibility of something going wrong and I’m losing ability to play games I bought on Steam. This is a concern of course, but only a mild one. Despite my dislike for DD DRM, I favor Steam service more than any other. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I buy from Steam. Not from their normal catalog but from their back catalog. I’m a happy customer.

    The issue is the form of DRM that I personally (and a few others too) find very restrictive and something we all should be fighting for. Mostly I fear that by accepting the Online Requirement form of DRM we have moved into a spot from which we will never be able to get out again. And as this requirement repeatedly fails to protect intelectual properties and copyrights, the push will be to intensify it. Ubisoft DRM is just one extension of this reasoning. And there’s not reason to believe Steam won’t ever intensify their current requirements. 3 weeks today, 1 week in 2 years perhaps. Someday once every day. Who knows, someday you’ll have to be online at all times. Why not?

    My opinion is strictly political. There’s no “Steam sucks” type of argument. There is simply the fact I defend my right to play a game without restrictions that have nothing to do with the activity of playing that game. It’s a matter of Consumer Rights that me and others feel are being infringed. In this context the premise is real in Steam as much as it is in Ubisoft. It’s not because one requires you to be online once every 3 weeks and the other at all times, that something is different.

    I hate analogies because people tend to explore them once their are introduced and forget their are only meant to illustrate a point. But in essence this type of DRM is the equivalent of my buying Microsoft Word and only be able to use it if I connect to microsoft servers once every 3 weeks to validate it. If I don’t, Word won’t work. Can you imagine the hubbub if that happened? And few can claim more loses to piracy than Microsoft.

    Companies should not (cannot) push a restriction that isn’t directly associated with the product their are selling. It’s tremendously wrong that people are forced to be online at any point in time in order to play a game (single-player games or while playing single-player campaigns, of course) when there is no other benefit from it other than activating/validating the product.

    This is what I defend. And because of that, and only that, I support Steam is no different than Ubisoft. Now, on many others aspects, including the level of the restrictions in place, certainly Ubisoft DRM is not comparable to Steam DRM. Which is also something that many people in here seem to be forgetting. The comparison is NOT between steam and ubisoft. It’s about their DRMs.

  39. Wulf says:

    People who like to predate with dirty debating tactics also like to group up to take down their prey, that’s making this all a little uncomfortable for me. I’ve said what I’ve said, and I’ll let it stand at that, since besides questionable debate I don’t think either side is going to make any headway with this.

    That’s a shame, because Ubisoft will be in their just rights to call us all mad, since we hate on all systems, we’re totally unreasonable and unrealistic as gamers, and there’s just no budging us. There’s only so much that can be done to improve on the image of gamers as a whole, but I hope that some of us here, today have proved that some gamers are reasonable creatures who’re willing to make concessions in order to reach a middle-ground that works for all parties involved.

    We’re not all crazed, frothing extremist zealots, honest guv! Really! Just maybe half of us, and if they’re a vocal minority (like I suspect), maybe less.

    It amazes me though how much some here don’t realise how they’re damaging the image of the PC gamer. Are we elitist? Reading some of the posts here, yes, we’re elitist as hell. Do we have a hugely over-exaggerated sense of entitlement, one that’s completely unrealistic? Going by some of the comments, definitely. Are we completely mad pastmasters who cling to ancient ways of doing things and would smite all current approaches rather than trying to improve on what actually exists in our modern, current day? Yes, very yes. Are we spoiled brats who want things our way, only our way, and we’ll throw our toys out of the pram if we don’t get things exactly our way, without being able to approach things rationally and separate reasonable concessions from unreasonable ones? I’d say so, we’re utter nutjobs.

    And that’s the problem. Gamers who don’t fit any of the above conditions–like myself–are damned because of the few crazed types who can’t control themselves. It’s just like the bloody furry fandom, and I’d know, gamers are coming over as no better. The problem is is that those who are reasonable are getting dragged beneath the sea of wails from those who can’t act in a sane, rational way, or who can’t accept a reasonable concession.

    Reading external sources, outside of the PC world, I often find myself arguing that PC gamers aren’t all of the above, that it’s just a vocal minority, and here I find myself trying to convince the people they talk about to be more reasonable and sane. It really hurts us as a whole to portray this kind of public image, and what I described is our public image. I remember Tycho of Penny Arcade even saying as much, recently.

    The problem is with this is that when we do have a real complaint, one that even someone outside of the gaming community would find reasonable, it’s ignored because the one real complaint is hard to distinguish from the sea of wailed falsehoods that usually emanate from the arid, foul mouth of the gamer. And that is a real problem, I find it very annoying… very grating, and generally very hard to deal with.

    For example…

    Normal Person: So, this Ubisoft stuff is evil?
    Realistic Gamer: Yeah, it has limitatio–
    Rabid Gamer: EVIL JUST LIKE STEAM!
    Normal Person: So this Steam thing is evil? Seems fine to me…
    Realistic Gamer: Well, it is, it has this nice offli–
    Rabid Gamer: STEAM IS THE DEVIL!
    Normal Person: Yeaaah… okay, I’m not talking to you guys any more.

    VERY ANNOYING.

    And really, just bringing up Steam and arguing against it and its supporters is falling into the rabid gamer group, because there is no reasonable argument against Steam (you can dirtily dress up an unreasonable argument, and some here will do that, conniving buggers, but there’s not a reasonable one). Steam, as it is right now, is a perfectly reasonable and viable system for gamers.

    And it’s this unreasonable nature, not being able to meet anyone half way that’s really fucking us over, it’s damning us to hell because no matter what concessions are made to us, the rabid half will just slap them away until they get exactly what they want, and exactly what they want is unrealistic in today’s world.

    That’s my take on all this, anyway… and there’s no point in continuing because I’m either preaching to the choir or… well, I don’t know what the alternative is, but it reminds me of trying to have a rational conversation once with this utterly drunk old bloke on the underground who’d throw his arms up and rant about religious things which really aren’t all that relevant at all, because to him almost everything was The Devil.

    So that’s my point, with the amount of people we have here being totally unreasonable it just makes it worse for all of us.

    What can you do?

    I’m done, anyway.

    *bows and steps off his soapbox, grabs his coat, and wanders off.*

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Wow. It’s been quite a while since I last read such a treaty on demagogy. Most disappointing. It doesn’t even occur to you, Wulf, that you are sounding just like that rabid gamer. But this time, one who defends Steam with rabid commitment. To the point of offending anyone who attacks it with the same passion you defend it. What makes you special?

      I’ll quote this paragraph:
      And really, just bringing up Steam and arguing against it and its supporters is falling into the rabid gamer group, because there is no reasonable argument against Steam (you can dirtily dress up an unreasonable argument, and some here will do that, conniving buggers, but there’s not a reasonable one). Steam, as it is right now, is a perfectly reasonable and viable system for gamers.

      There is no reasonable argument against Steam? In what high place do you put yourself that makes you actually believe that what doesn’t bother you, shouldn’t bother anyone else?

      At least give me the respect I’m entitled for saying that the Steam DRM online requirement is something I do not agree with and that I feel goes against my rights as a consumer. You don’t have to agree with me. But you have to agree with the fact this is a valid point for anyone that feels that way.

      Otherwise you risk being seen by me and many others as… just another rabid gamer, too lost in their own religious fanaticism — for a gaming company, of all things — incapable of listening and eager to sustain their own opinions as dogma. How easy it becomes to turn your own arguments against yourself.

      And in case you are not aware, there are indeed people worried about online restrictions of many of the current DRMs. They do not agree with them and they try to battle them the best their can as part of their rights as consumers. Agree or disagree. Just don’t be an ass about it.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Mario Figueiredo

      LOL. If the best you can come back with is accusing Wulf of somehow being equally rabid and therefore claim that somehow undermines his position, then you’ve really not got much of an argument going. If anything Wulf has displayed a level headedness over this as well as a sense of humour (something you appear to lack). Your arguments are so removed from the reality of things, and bound up in nebulous FEAR that it’s hard to take them seriously at all I’m afraid.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      I’ll take your opinion into consideration.

  40. Jacques says:

    BRB, making a “boycott Steam” Steam group.

  41. Catastrophe says:

    @Kadayi

    I read RPS for PC Game Reviews and News.

    And today the News is Ubi is using an intrusive DRM system and I’m thankful I read it here rather than buy one of their games only to feel totally ripped off.

    I now have -the- choice. To suffer their DRM knowing the consequences, or do without the game.

    I choose the latter.

    Otherwise I may of bought the game missing the tiny (if any) piece of text on the box that states “requires internet connection at all times” and then suffered when I had internet problems.

    I’m grateful RPS covers this stuff – its not as if they hold back on any other topics to fit the DRM posts in.

  42. Bret says:

    Kadayi said:
    @MD

    Sorry you feel that way MD, but personally I’m sick and tired of coming to RPS for gaming talk and finding yet another thread hijacked by the lunatic fringe element who just can’t let go of the past, and want to use every thread to tell you about it ad infinitum. Sure Steam had it’s problems initially, but that was an epoch in gaming years ago and now it’s become a mainstay of the PC gaming scene. Does that make it perfect? Of course not. But over time it’s gotten better and better, and the community stuff is fantastic.

    If you applied the mentality of some posters to here to human endeavour & progress in general, we’d still be living in caves and grunting. As for mewling man babies, that’s not a phrase I personally came up with (Dave Ellis formerly of 1UP coined it if I recall), but I think it’s fairly apt when I come here and find the same posters hijacking threads again and again to tell us how ‘I Saw Something Nasty In The Wood Shed’ over their favourite topics of Steam, Windows 7 or the death of PC gaming.

    If anything this site is for people who are enthusiastic about the medium of PC gaming as it evolves where as increasingly it’s seems to attract a crowd who much like King Canute are verbally attempting to hold back the tide of progress, or rob it of it’s ‘OMFG Yes!!!’ factor. Initially is was amusing, but now it’s grown tiresome. So forgive me if I call a spade a spade, but we’re long past the point of where in a convivial dialogue is even worth attempting with these can’t change/won’t change, things were better in 1992 stuck in the muds, who can’t let go of their Baggage and FEAR. Sorry.

    Hey, Canute was just trying to show he had limits. Lay off the poor guy.

    Being dead is no reason to insult the fellow.

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